US appeals court rules against Trump on travel ban
- Court's logic -The court in San Francisco said aspects of the public interest favored both sides, highlighting the "massive attention" the case had drawn. "On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies," the ruling said. "And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination." While acknowledging that the Seattle judge's ruling "may have been overbroad in some respects," the panel said it was not their "role to try, in effect, to rewrite the executive order." "The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States," the court said.
- 'No one is above the law' -Civil rights campaigners and state officials applauded the decision, vowing to fight on until the executive order was permanently scrapped. For now, it means that travellers with valid visas can continue to enter the country. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, whose administration sued for the measure to be blocked, hailed a victory for his state and the country, arguing that the ruling showed "no one is above the law, not even the president."
- 'New era of justice' -Ahead of the ruling, and with tensions high between the executive and the judiciary, Trump defended his hardline policies and declared a "new era of justice" in America as he swore in Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "We face the menace of rising crime and the threat of deadly terror," he said, doubling down on his dystopian vision of America. "A new era of justice begins and it begins right now." Trump's tough talk belies a political and legislative agenda that has been beset by missteps and legal challenges. Even his own Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, described the president's comments about the judiciary as "disheartening" and "demoralizing."
- Popular support -Though Trump's message has been criticized by experts, it appears to be resonating with supporters. The billionaire won the election last November with 46 percent of the popular vote, and the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows his job approval at about that level, with the split largely along Republican-Democratic lines. Trump on Wednesday trumpeted a Morning Consult-Politico poll showing 55 percent voter approval for his immigration ban, although earlier polls -- dismissed by the president as "fake news" -- have shown majority opposition. His administration has 14 days to file a petition for reconsideration, either by the same panel or "en banc" -- meaning by every judge on the court. Another option would be to ask the Supreme Court to review the case, although some analysts have argued that this path poses the possibility of an embarrassing defeat, given the unanimity of the San Francisco panel, which included a Republican-appointed judge.