It is not about the executive orders. When it comes to protecting the United States from the threats posed by radical Islam, it has never been about President Donald Trump’s executive orders: the first one that was torpedoed by the radical judiciary in January, and the new and improved version that was suspended this week — the Lawyer Left having conveniently managed to shop its challenge to Barack Obama’s fellow Hawaiian and Harvard Law School classmate Judge Derrick Watson.
The issue is vetting. Each executive order was conceived as a temporary step, a “hold in place” measure while the permanent solution, vetting, was carefully crafted and ultimately implemented.
Now, just as the Left hoped, the temporary step has not only overwhelmed the permanent solution. It has made the permanent solution much more difficult — perhaps impossible — to achieve.
The president’s first order was not invalidated because it was invalid. It was invalidated by an outrageous political maneuver disguised as a judicial decision by the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court. Yet government lawyers — especially the law-and-order, have-faith-in-the-system types — can’t help themselves. They see litigation as a high-minded chess game, winnable by reasoned strategy: Look at what the court said the infirmities were, address them, and then take another crack at persuading the tribunal.
But that’s not the game being played by the Ninth Circuit and the many progressive activists among the 300-odd lawyers President Obama placed on the federal bench (that’s life tenure, boys and girls). They are about winning the war, not the skirmish.
The Ninth Circuit struck down the first executive not order because it transgressed the theoretical constitutional rights of lawful permanent-resident aliens, immigrant visa holders, or state universities. The judges struck it down because they are the political Left. This had nothing to do with law. The Left has a policy objection to the notion of subjecting Muslims to heightened immigration scrutiny, because it has a policy objection to government recognition of the nexus between Islamic scripture and terrorism committed by Muslims.
For the Left, the law is not a corpus of constitutional and statutory principles to be applied. It is a pliable weapon for achieving policy goals, enabling will-to-power to masquerade as a “legal process.”
No tweaking of an executive order will overcome that.