ACLU Lawyer: A Hillary Clinton Travel Ban Would Have Been Fine
President Trump’s travel ban is being reviewed by Virginia’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals this week in what promises to be a major test of the executive branch’s authority when it comes to admitting foreigners into the United States. Of course, if Monday’s proceedings are any indication, this case might be less about the generic powers of the president and more about the specific powers of Donald J. Trump.
You might think these would be one in the same, since Trump is, after all, the president of the United States. But that’s apparently not so. Now, anyone who has followed this case already suspected as much. The statutes are clear, as we’ve seen. There is no reasonable legal dispute to be made. This has been a political war from the beginning, and now the left is even beginning to admit it.
To wit: Omar Jadwat, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, admitted to the court on Monday that if President Hillary Clinton had signed the exact same executive order banning travel from six dangerous Middle Eastern countries…why, it would have probably been just fine with the ACLU.
In the hearing, Judge Paul Niemeyer asked, “If a different candidate had won the election and then issued this order, I gather you wouldn’t have any problem with that?”
After some stalling on the part of Jadwat, Niemeyer rephrased the question: “We have a candidate who won the presidency – some candidate other than President Trump won the presidency and then chose to issue this particular order with whatever counsel he took. Do I understand that just in that circumstance, the executive order should be honored?”
Astoundingly, Jadwat said, “Yes, your honor. I think in that case, it could be constitutional.”
Just…wow. It’s one thing for everyone to “know” (wink, wink) that this is the case; it’s quite another for the plaintiffs to come right out and admit it in open court. In what universe can the Fourth Circuit possibly arrive at any ruling other than a complete dismissal of the original stay? It would be legal malpractice of the highest order!
But of course, Trump’s travel ban remains in jeopardy because the bulk of the ACLU’s argument rests on the (extraordinarily ridiculous) claim that it is unconstitutional NOT because of the text of the order but because Trump talked about a Muslim ban on the campaign trail. We’re way out into the margins of Fantasy Land on this one. Here’s hoping the Fourth Circuit can return us to reality.