An Update to a previous Column on Lanterns: AS GOP SEEKS TO BREAK UP 9TH CIRCUIT COURT, THE 'LIBERAL' COURT UPHOLDS TRAVEL BAN SUSPENSION. COINCIDENCE?
In a dramatic turn, albeit a predictable one, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled unanimously to uphold U.S. District Judge James L. Robart's ruling which suspended President Donald J. Trump's travel ban on February 3rd. This comes as no surprise to conservative critics who have long considered the Ninth Circuit to be a 'liberal' bench.
President Trump's response via Twitter was nearly immediate:
According to the Washington Post's Matt Zapotosky
The Justice Department could now ask the Supreme Court — which often defers to the president on matters of immigration and national security — to intervene. The Supreme Court, though, remains one justice short, and many see it as ideologically split 4-4. A tie would keep in place whatever the appeals court decides. The Justice Department could also ask the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to consider the question.
The full judgment can be read here.
Just as with the summary ruling on the 3rd, in the full appeal today, the opinion was written by Judges William C. Canby Jr., a Carter appointee, and Michelle Taryn Friedland, who was appointed by President Obama. If this question should go to the Supreme Court then the battle for Judge Gorsuch's confirmation just took on a whole new urgency for the administration. Democrats on the Hill already have indicated they would seek to block the President's nominee according to USA Today,
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made it clear Wednesday that Democrats will filibuster President Trump's Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, saying it is important that the Colorado judge be "mainstream" enough to appeal to at least some Democrats and attract 60 votes.
This development will surely add fuel to the fire.