No One Knows If The Travel Ban Is Legal

Judges in Hawaii and Maryland placed injunctions on Trump’s travel ban last night, but there are still many openings for appeal. For a good rundown of the possible gaps in the court conclusions, see Josh Blackman’s initial reactions.

Although I admit to being satisfied with these rulings, I do not pretend to know whether or not the decisions are legally “correct.” Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying, blustering, or misinformed. Law and the courts are… complicated, and most legal experts will acknowledge that the Constitution’s Establishment Clause (separating church and state) has not been fully tested in the sphere of immigration. Whatever the ultimate outcome here, new precedents will likely be set.

That said, I have offered criticism, not from a legal view but from the lens of pragmatic effect: I strongly disagree with the travel ban because of its wildly uneven impact. Most Americans agree that the order will not benefit American security, so why take such an aggressive action when its only effect will be to make vulnerable people even more vulnerable? For me, this question is still unanswered.

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