Daily Archives: February 6, 2017

Case challenging Trump’s Muslim ban moving forward quickly

The government’s appeal of the temporary restraining order that has blocked implementation of the Trump administration’s immigration ban is moving rapidly in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

And the intense interest in the case has prompted the 9th Circuit to post all the case documents on its website for free download.

On Sunday, the State of Hawaii filed an emergency motion seeking permission to intervene in the appeal. This followed the state’s filing of its own lawsuit on Friday challenging the immigration executive order, just hours before the TRO was issued.

In it’s motion to intervene, the state argues that it’s lawsuit includes additional legal arguments that are not put forward in the case on appeal, and should therefore be heard before a ruling on the appeal. Hawaii argues that a ruling on the appeal that did not consider these additional issues “might make it difficult or impossible for Hawai‘i to prevail in its own pending motion for temporary injunctive relief.”

Also of interest is the letter from a series of prior national security, foreign policy, and intelligence officials challenging the basis of the Trump order.

Joining in the letter are:

a. Madeleine K. Albright served as Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. A refugee and naturalized American citizen, she served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997 and has been a member of the Central Intelligence Agency External Advisory Board since 2009 and the Defense Policy Board since 2011, in which capacities she has received assessments of threats facing the United States.
b. Avril D. Haines served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013 to 2015, and as Deputy National Security Advisor from 2015 to January 20, 2017.
c. Michael V. Hayden served as Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009.
d. John F. Kerry served as Secretary of State from 2013 to January 20, 2017.
e. John E. McLaughlin served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2000-2004 and Acting Director of CIA in 2004. His duties included briefing President-elect Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.
f. Lisa O. Monaco served as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013 to January 20, 2017.
g. Michael J. Morell served as Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013, Deputy Director from 2010 to 2013, and as a career official of the CIA from 1980. His duties included briefing President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, and briefing President Barack Obama regarding the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden.
h. Janet A. Napolitano served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013.
i. Leon E. Panetta served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009-11 and as Secretary of Defense from 2011-13.
j. Susan E. Rice served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2009-13 and as National Security Advisor from 2013 to January 20, 2017.

Here’s just one section of their letter. Another long section details why they believe the Trump order will harm national security rather than increase it.

In our professional opinion, the Order was ill-conceived, poorly implemented and ill-explained. The “considered judgment” of the President in the prior cases where courts have
deferred was based upon administrative records showing that the President’s decision rested on cleared views from expert agencies with broad experience on the matters presented to him. Here, there is little evidence that the Order underwent a thorough interagency legal and policy processes designed to address current terrorist threats, which would ordinarily include a review by the career professionals charged with implementing and carrying out the Order, an interagency legal review, and a careful policy analysis by Deputies and Principals (at the cabinet level) before policy recommendations are submitted to the President. We know of no interagency process underway before January 20, 2017 to change current vetting procedures, and the repeated need for the Administration to clarify confusion after the Order issued suggest that that Order received little, if any advance scrutiny by the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security or the Intelligence Community. Nor have we seen any evidence that the Order resulted from experienced intelligence and security professionals recommending changes in response to identified threats.

8. The Order is of unprecedented scope. We know of no case where a President has invoked his statutory authority to suspend admission for such a broad class of people. Even after 9/11, the U.S. Government did not invoke the provisions of law cited by the Administration to broadly bar entrants based on nationality, national origin, or religious affiliation. In past cases, suspensions were limited to particular individuals or subclasses of nationals who posed a specific, articulable threat based on their known actions and affiliations. In adopting this Order, the Administration alleges no specific derogatory factual information about any particular recipient of a visa or green card or any vetting step omitted by current procedures.