By Five Dollar Feminist as originally published over at Wonkette and reposted here with permission
Sorry, but this is not a Happy Nice Times post. We lost the Muslim Travel Ban case, but more importantly the Supreme Court is telling us loud and clear that it intends to play along with the charade that Donald Trump is a normal president who follows the law. That he can continue to burn down the executive branch and engage in rampant corruption, and the court will say, “Well, he says he did it for legitimate reason, so IT’S COOL.”
Could he shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose John Roberts? PROBABLY.
Not that Justice Roberts likes all this racist demagoguing. Perish the thought!
Yet it cannot be denied that the Federal Government and the Presidents who have carried its laws into effect have—from the Nation’s earliest days— performed unevenly in living up to those inspiring words.
Plaintiffs argue that this President’s words strike at fundamental standards of respect and tolerance, in violation of our constitutional tradition. But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements. It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility. In doing so, we must consider not only the statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency itself.
And Anthony Kennedy is a sweet old grandpa who shakes his head sadly to see the president behave so unwisely. But he just can’t do anything about it. His hands are tied!
There are numerous instances in which the statements and actions of Government officials are not subject to judicial scrutiny or intervention. That does not mean those officials are free to disregard the Constitution and the rights it proclaims and protects. The oath that all officials take to adhere to the Constitution is not confined to those spheres in which the Judiciary can correct or even comment upon what those officials say or do. Indeed, the very fact that an official may have broad discretion, discretion free from judicial scrutiny, makes it all the more imperative for him or her to adhere to the Constitution and to its meaning and its promise.
So the fact that Trump called explicitly for a Muslim ban; that ten minutes after getting sworn in he signed an Executive Order slamming a wall down around the country to exclude Muslims who live in countries unlucky enough to lack a Trump Hotel; that he telegraphed his intent with references to “political correctness” and “we all know what that means”; that he calls other countries shitholes — all of that is irrelevant. Eventually Trump got the Defense and State Departments to cook up some post facto mumbo jumbo about Yemen’s government failing to comply with visa requirements, and that was good enough for the Court.
The Proclamation placed entry restrictions on the nationals of eight foreign states whose systems for managing and sharing information about their nationals the President deemed inadequate. Foreign states were selected for inclusion based on a review undertaken pursuant to one of the President’s earlier Executive Orders. As part of that review, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the State Department and intelligence agencies, developed an information and risk assessment “baseline.” DHS then collected and evaluated data for all foreign governments, identifying those having deficient information-sharing practices and presenting national security concerns, as well as other countries “at risk” of failing to meet the baseline.
Pay no attention to the Twitter diarrhea behind the curtain! Disregard all racist rants. Donald Trump will feed used toilet paper to the State Department, and they will launder it into the finest long-staple cotton.
That's right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
Justice Sotomayor penned a valiant dissent, pointing out that Trump made no bones about his intent to keep Muslims out of the country.
The United States of America is a Nation built upon the promise of religious liberty. Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the First Amendment. The Court’s decision today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle. It leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns. But this repackaging does little to cleanse Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of discrimination that the President’s words have created. Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.
But conservatives do not care. If they have to pretend that demented, orange POS is a real president to get their tax cuts through and wage war on the poor, the brown, the other, then that’s exactly what they’ll do.
So please, spare us discussions of civility. Harry Reid is a hell of a guy, but he upheld the filibuster rule out of respect for civility. Mitch McConnell promptly took a shit on decades of Senate norms, all while decrying Democrats for partisanship and bad faith. And now we’re facing decades of 5-4 decisions gutting every liberal value we all hold dear. ENOUGH PLAYING NICE.
Vote this November like your life depends on it. Because it does.