//  5/10/18  //  Commentary

In a previous post, I flagged a Slate piece by Josh Geltzer and a letter to the Supreme Court from the Macarthur Justice Center that gave some reasons to be skeptical of the Solicitor General’s claim that the president made “crystal clear” that he had no intention of imposing a Muslim ban.

Some of the reasons to the skeptical of the SG’s claim include statements thatthe President made after his purported disavowal, as well as statements that he (and other members of his administration) made after the Supreme Court argument itself.  Those statements (or non-statements) include:

  • The press secretary refused to say whether the administration had disavowed the promise to ban Muslims
  • The president refused to do the same when asked by a reporter

(I’m not listing all of the pre-argument statements, like the President’s claim that the current order is a “watered down, P.C.” version of … something….)

The post-argument statements are especially interesting, because they raise the possibility that the President or his administration would make post-decision statements about the entry ban.  Specifically (and this is something other commentators and I have discussed in our posts):  What if the President announces after a decision in his favor “S.C. VINDICATES WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING SINCE THE CAMPAIGN” or “WE TOOK THE BAN ALL THE WAY TO THE S.C. AND WON” or “S.C. LETS US HAVE THE P.C. VERSION,  BUT DON’T WORRY I’LL KEEP GOING.”  Or what if he says “MUSLIM BAN WIN AT THE S.C.”?

Given the President’s Twitter feed, none of these things are that implausible.  And the possibility that they would occur puts the Supreme Court in a predicament if it upholds the order:  What if the Court were to uphold the order and the President later exclaims that the administration pulled another fast one at the Court in the name of national security?  What if the President confirms in no uncertain terms that the order is infected by anti-Muslim animus?  What if the Court says “we can’t determine if the order has a good faith basis” while the President makes clear that it does not?  Or if the Court says “the order is not infected by anti-Muslim animus” but the President later says that it is?

Several commentators on this blog (including Ian Samuel and me) have written about the legacy of Korematsu v. United States and its relevance to the entry ban—in that case, the Court signed off on an order whose naked racism was perfectly clear to anyone willing to see and acknowledge the world around them.  There are, however, some differences between the two cases, including that in the entry ban case, the President may underscore the Court’s complicity in an animus-laden policy soon after a decision upholding it, even though it took some time for people to understand Korematsu in that light.

@LeahLitman


Versus Trump: Preventing The Prevention Of The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

5/17/18  //  Commentary

On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Charlie, and Jason discuss a series of recent rulings that have stopped the Trump Administration from revoking federal grants to entities that have been working to reduce teen pregnancy. Listen now!

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Easha Anand

San Francisco

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

How the Russian Conspiracy Injured Real, Innocent People

5/16/18  //  Commentary

On Thursday, the one year anniversary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment, attorneys for Donald Trump will stand up in a court of law to answer questions for the first time related to Russia. But it won’t be in the Mueller investigation.

Erwin Chemerinsky

U.C. Irvine School of Law

The Solicitor General's Post-Factual World

5/8/18  //  Commentary

The SG's letter of correction to the Supreme Court says more about the kind of misstatements he will tolerate rather than the kind he won't.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law