9th Circuit Fails Again: Another Block on Trump’s Travel Ban

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes again. If it weren’t for this single court, things would have likely been a lot different this year in terms of President Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting six Middle Eastern countries. But the ultra-liberal court has weighed in time and again to thwart the president’s lawful executive authority, ultimately forcing the Supreme Court to weigh in this summer and dispatch – if only temporarily – with some of the court’s more ludicrous opinions. That judicial smackdown apparently taught the court nothing, however, as the liberal judges once again ruled this week that the federal government had overstepped its bounds in blocking certain travelers.

Two issues were at point in the ruling, both of them having to do with the nature of a “bona fide” relationship. The Supreme Court, in its June ruling, decided that, until it could take up the travel ban case in October, the Trump administration would be allowed to proceed with the moratorium. However, they added a few restrictions to the scope of the ban, one of which was that immigrants and refugees with a bona fide existing relationship to individuals or entities currently in the U.S. would be allowed to enter the country. The Trump administration decided to read that exemption narrowly, allowing only immediate family members and in-laws to skirt the ban.

In its ruling Thursday, the Ninth Circuit determined that was unacceptable.

“Stated simply, the government does not offer a persuasive explanation for why a mother-in-law is clearly a bona fide relationship, in the Supreme Court’s prior reasoning, but a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin is not,” the court ruled.

What about a great-grandchild? Or a second cousin? Once you head down this road, there are virtually no restrictions left on the books. Why not the effing mailman?

Even more absurdly, the court ruled that one of the bona fide relationships a refugee could have to permit them entry into the country…is a relationship with a refugee resettlement agency! How convenient!

“A resettlement agency provides pre-arrival services for a formally assured refugee and engages in an intensive process to match the individual to resources even before the refugee is admitted,” the judges wrote. “These efforts, which the formal assurance embodies, evince a bona fide relationship between a resettlement agency and a refugee.”

You may as well include a refugee’s relationship with Delta Airlines as part of the exemption. Hey, they bought a ticket, that’s good enough.

Clearly, this is just another attempt by the most liberal court in the land to overturn a Trump administration decision that is politically unpopular on the left. There is no reasonable legal basis for these exemptions; in fact, there is no reasonable legal basis for blocking this ban in the first place. These are terrorist havens, and the president’s authority over new arrivals and refugees is broad and established.

We sincerely hope that when the Supreme Court takes up this case in the fall, some sanity is restored to the rule of law.