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Trump Calls Court Ruling on Muslim Travel Order ‘Disgraceful’

President fires off tweet based on Lawfare analysis minutes after cable show discusses the blog

President Trump delivers remarks on Feb. 1 in the Oval Office. On Friday morning, he called a federal court ruling against his Muslim travel ban "disgraceful." (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)
President Trump delivers remarks on Feb. 1 in the Oval Office. On Friday morning, he called a federal court ruling against his Muslim travel ban "disgraceful." (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, on just his 21st day in office, continued his feud with the federal judiciary, bluntly blasting an appellate court’s refusal to revive his immigration order that temporarily bans from the United States people from some Muslim-majority countries.

The new president called the decision “disgraceful” in a tweet sent at 8:15 a.m. Friday from his personal account, about 45 minutes before his official schedule listed him as due in the Oval Office for his daily intelligence briefing.

Trump appeared to base his conclusion about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s unanimous decision to uphold a lower court’s order to stop the Trump administration from implementing the travel ban on a segment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.

The president’s social media reaction came just minutes after the popular cable news program discussed an analysis piece on the decision posted on Lawfare, a legal blog.

Trump quoted a line from a piece by Benjamin Wittes, the site’s editor in chief and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, focusing on the part of the United States Code that the Trump administration repeatedly and vigorously points to as the “clear” legal basis for the travel order.

Wittes writes in the piece that the case surrounding the order largely comes down to “how broad the president’s authority is to limit admissions from the relevant seven countries — and to what extent that authority is limited by Constitutional law.”

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Wittes then includes the provision, which states presidents have the authority to, by “proclamation, make decisions to limit or suspend the “entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States” for any period of time he or she sees fit.

“Remarkably, in the entire opinion, the panel did not bother even to cite this statute, which forms the principal statutory basis for the executive order,” Wittes writes, as discussed on the cable morning show, which Trump reportedly watches religiously.

Trump seized Wittes’ point, and then made the basis of his tweet.

The White House, breaking with past administrations, did not issue an official statement on Thursday evening after the ruling came down. Instead, the president reacted via a fiery tweet: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

Trump and his top aides, with the lower court’s injunction now still in place, must decide whether to go to the high court, rescind the order and try again, or revise it in some way. The president has said he could take the case to the Supreme Court.

“I think the president has really focused on the merits of this case and looking forward to … however it has to move,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday. “He feels very confident on the merits.”

Contact Bennett at Follow him on Twitter @BennettJohnT.

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