Trump’s loose talk about Muslims gets weaponized in court against travel ban - washingtonpost
No one apparently gave him anything like a Miranda warning: Anything he says can and will be used against him in a court of law.
And that’s exactly what’s happening now in the epic court battle over his travel ban, currently blocked by a temporary order set for argument Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit..
In court papers, Washington and Minnesota’s attorneys general have pulled out quotes from speeches, news conferences and interviews as evidence that an executive order the administration argues is neutral was really motivated by animus toward Muslims and a “desire to harm a particular group.”
His words, the two states say in their brief, show “that the President acted in bad faith in an effort to target Muslims.” The courts, they say, “have both the right and duty to examine” Trump’s “true motives.”
The states offer a multitude of exhibits, starting with a December 2015 release from the Trump campaign calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
They cite his August speech advocating screening out people “who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.”
Another exhibit: His Jan. 27 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network in which he said he wanted to give priority to Christians in Syria.
They even hauled out Rudolph W. Giuliani’s comment on Fox News that Trump wanted a “Muslim ban” and requested he assemble a commission to show him “the right way to do it legally.”
In response, government lawyers are trying to have Trump’s rhetoric treated, so-to-speak, as inadmissible and irrelevant. It is inappropriate and contrary to precedent, they say in their brief, for the court to “‘look behind’ the stated basis for the Order to probe its subjective motivations.” The states, they complain, are asking “the courts to take the extraordinary step of second-guessing a formal national security judgment made by the President himself pursuant to broad grants of statutory authority.”
How the appeals court and ultimately, no doubt, the Supreme Court, respond remains to be seen. Both sides have their precedents to cite on probing presidential motive. - Read More