Trump Schooled on Separation of Powers


President Trump is getting a crash course on the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers as federal courts knock down his temporary immigration ban aimed at seven mostly Muslim countries, reports Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn

On Jan. 27, President Trump made good on his campaign promise to institute a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Trump’s executive order (“EO”) is titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”

Donald Trump speaking with the media at a hangar at Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona. December 16, 2015. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

The EO bars nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from the U.S. for at least 90 days. They include Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan. The EO also indefinitely prevents Syrian refugees, even those granted visas, from entering the U.S. And it suspends the resettlement of all refugees for 120 days.

None of the 9/11 hijackers came from the seven countries covered by the EO; 15 of the 19 men hailed from Saudi Arabia, which is not on the list. No one from the seven listed countries has mounted a fatal terrorist attack in the United States.

Countries exempted from the EO include Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates — countries where Trump apparently has business ties.

Trump’s EO violates the Establishment Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Take Care Clause of the Constitution. It also violates the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); both are treaties the United States has ratified, making them part of U.S. law under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. The EO violates the Immigration and Nationality Act as well.

Six Federal Courts Stay Trump’s EO

In the face of legal challenges, five federal courts have temporarily stayed implementation of parts of the EO, indicating that petitioners have a strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits.

Statues of Lady Justice can be found around the world, this one atop London’s…

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