Saturday, February 04, 2017


This surprises me:
Customs and Border Protection told major U.S. airlines Friday night they should go “back to business as usual" after a federal judge issued a temporary nationwide restraining order stopping President Trump's executive order banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States.

CNN reported Friday night that CBP held a 9 p.m. conference call with major airlines, telling them visas are being reinstated following the judge’s action.

An airline executive told CNN that CBP is "back to prior to the situation that was in place before last week's executive order.”
The New York Times confirms this:
Airlines that had been stopping travelers from boarding planes to the United States were told by the government in a conference call Friday night to begin allowing them to fly, according to a person familiar with the call but who declined to be identified because it was a private discussion.
It's true that the administration is not pleased. There have been the usual Trump tweets. And:
The White House vowed late Friday to fight what it called an “outrageous” ruling, saying it would seek an emergency halt to the judge’s order as soon as possible and restore the president’s “lawful and appropriate order.”

... The Trump administration ... could again block the travelers if it were to win an emergency stay.
But that's the administration pushing back through normal channels. I expected more defiance. Remember, as Politico has noted, the government's response to the first court rulings on the travel ban was one of resistance:
Hours after a federal judge ordered customs officers to provide lawyers to travelers detained at Dulles airport last Saturday, senior Trump administration officials instructed the guards to give the travelers phone numbers of legal services organizations, ignoring a mass of lawyers who had gathered at the airport.

Most of the legal services offices were closed for the weekend, effectively preventing travelers with green cards from obtaining legal advice.

The move was part of what lawyers contend was a series of foot-dragging actions by the administration that appeared to violate court orders against the Trump’s controversial travel ban.
Politico says that the initial rulings were "slow-walked." This one hasn't been, as far as we know. The Trump administration isn't claiming dictatorial powers -- so far.

In The Washington Post, we read that it's possible to mount a successful challenge to dictator-wannabe Steve Bannon and the guy who seems to be the Dylan Klebold to Bannon's Eric Harris, Stephen Miller:
On the evening of Saturday, Jan. 28, as airport protests raged over President Trump’s executive order on immigration, the man charged with implementing the order, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, had a plan. He would issue a waiver for lawful permanent residents, a.k.a. green-card holders, from the seven majority-Muslim countries whose citizens had been banned from entering the United States.

White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon wanted to stop Kelly in his tracks. Bannon paid a personal and unscheduled visit to Kelly’s Department of Homeland Security office to deliver an order: Don’t issue the waiver. Kelly, according to two administration officials familiar with the confrontation, refused to comply with Bannon’s instruction....

The confrontation between Bannon and Kelly pitted a political operator against a military disciplinarian. Respectfully but firmly, the retired general and longtime Marine told Bannon that despite his high position in the White House and close relationship with Trump, the former Breitbart chief was not in Kelly’s chain of command, two administration officials said. If the president wanted Kelly to back off from issuing the waiver, Kelly would have to hear it from the president directly, he told Bannon.

Bannon left Kelly’s office without getting satisfaction. Trump didn’t call Kelly to tell him to hold off. Kelly issued the waiver late Saturday night, although it wasn’t officially announced until the following day.
That's good news -- up to a point. It's good to know that Bannon can be stopped. But Kelly, joined by Defense Secretary James Mattis and (surprise) Rex Tillerson, who's now secretary of state, were really just fighting to be in the loop when executive orders are written, with Bannon and Miller on the other side. The Post report says that Kelly et al. won that fight. But Kelly publicly defended the executive order after that, insisting in a press conference that there's no Muslim ban.

So some norms are still in place, however wobbly they may be. Absolutely defiance of the courts isn't administration policy, nor are the top tyrants-in-their-own-minds getting their way on everything. There are limits -- for the time being.


Nefer said...

In general terms, trump illustrates the problem with the notion that being a CEO or businessperson somehow makes one qualified to be president.

The president is not a CEO. He is not the ultimate boss of the company (country). It is the other way around.

I am pretty sure that trump has no notion at all that the executive branch is one of three equal branches. In his mind, that judge disobeyed him. He thinks he is the CEO and that other government entities have no right to contradict him.

And of course, he would be hard-pressed to read the word constitution. He certainly does not understand a word in it.

Philo Vaihinger said...

As the courts fight it out we may yet see some judge, or maybe even the Supremes (before the new guy gets there), say out loud that discrimination by nationality or religion in immigration is in fact unconstitutional.

And that will crush in advance any move by Trump toward a general ban on Muslims.

But it will also put in his way a huge provocation to do what he surely is already tempted to do, just tell the courts to go to hell.

How many divisions do they have, after all?

With GOP domination in both the House and the Senate, who will move to impeach him for ignoring a court decision the GOP and conservatives all over America would surely regard as illegitimate?

And that will be a very bad moment for the US constitution and for our country.

Anonymous said...

If I were a gambling man... with the up-by-the-bootstraps immigrant working girl wife staying home with the emotionally challenged youngest child (I have a ten year old autistic grandson) I would almost wager that after one hundred days (or weeks) of slap-dash bowl-em-over with bullshit keep it all off-balence never give 'em time to judiciously study today's "reality" put the hammer down executive ordering Un-President Drumpf declares his adminstration a success, a Victory, and resigns to spend more time with the family. Not necessarily unprecedented, and far the more likely than the Retards* ever mounting an impeachment.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, doesn't alieve the gravity of the circumstances we collectively find ourselves in. Emphasis on collectively. Where I come from when you buy the ticket you take the ride. I didn't buy this ticket.

*Look it up.
Ten Bears