Trey Gowdy takes aim at 9th Circuit immigration ruling

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U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has weighed in on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against President Donald J. Trump’s immigration ban.

For Gowdy, the ruling in the case of The State of Washington v. Trump was expected, but not because the president’s executive order was unconstitutional as many have argued. Instead, the Spartanburg congressman says the ruling was in line with the 9th Circuit Court’s tendency to make what he called “reversible” decisions.

“No one familiar with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should be surprised at today’s ruling,” Gowdy says. “The 9th Circuit has a well-earned reputation for being presumptively reversible.”

Yesterday, three judges ruled against a stay that would have put the ban back in place following last week’s ruling. That order effectively ended the ban, which many believes unfairly targets Muslims. The 9th Circuit Court seems to agree.

“The States argue that the Executive Order violates the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses because it was intended to disfavor Muslims. In support of this argument, the States have offered evidence of numerous statements by the President about his intent to implement a ‘Muslim ban’ as well as evidence they claim suggests that the Executive Order was intended to be that ban…,” the ruling states.

A former prosecutor, Gowdy took note of the court’s argument that illegal immigrants have due process rights.

Of particular interest is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s suggestion that even those unlawfully present in the country have certain due process rights with respect to immigration,” Gowdy writes.

“The Court cites Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 695 (2001) for the proposition that even aliens who have committed and been convicted of certain crimes while in the U.S. unlawfully may have due process rights with respect to travel to or from the United States.”

For Gowdy, the matter of due process has yet to be worked out by the court system as it applies to both legal and illegal residents and immigrants.

However, the lawmaker was adamant that the court has overstepped its bounds.

“It also seems clear judges are neither in a position, practically or jurisprudentially, to second guess national security determinations made by the commander in chief. There is a reason we elect the commander in chief and do not elect federal judges,” Gowdy said. “For those, like Alexander Hamilton, who once or now wondered if the judicial branch would be too weak. Wonder no more.” 

The White House could appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision that seems likely considering the president’s all-caps tweet in response to the ruling.

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The following is the full text of Gowdy’s statement:

Rep. Gowdy Statement on 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision

Spartanburg, SC – Rep. Trey Gowdy released the following statement after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to block President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

“No one familiar with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should be surprised at today’s ruling. The 9th Circuit has a well-earned reputation for being presumptively reversible. Unlike the district court order, there is at least a court opinion which can be evaluated.

Of particular interest is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s suggestion that even those unlawfully present in the country have certain due process rights with respect to immigration. The Court cites Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 695 (2001) for the proposition that even aliens who have committed and been convicted of certain crimes while in the U.S. unlawfully may have due process rights with respect to travel to or from the United States. In addition, the Court ventures curiously into its own role in reviewing a President’s national security conclusions. 

Legal permanent residents, non-citizens with current valid visas, non-citizens with expired visas (which were once valid), aliens with no legal standing, aliens who have committed a crime but have not yet been deported, and aliens who are not even present in the United States but seek to come are just a few of the categories the Supreme Court will need to determine what process is due, if any. It seems clear to most of us — not on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — there is no right to come to this country for non-citizens of the United States. It also seems clear judges are neither in a position, practically or jurisprudentially, to second guess national security determinations made by the Commander in Chief. There is a reason we elect the Commander in Chief and do not elect federal judges.  

For those, like Alexander Hamilton, who once or now wondered if the Judicial Branch would be too weak. Wonder no more.” 

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