White House official not happy with federal appeals court
13 February, 2017
WASHINGTON: A White House official launched a blistering attack on the federal appeals court that blocked President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration on Sunday, calling its ruling a "judicial usurpation of power."
The Trump administration has faced multiple legal setbacks to its travel ban issued on Jan. 27, and the Republican president has said he may issue a new executive order rather than go through lengthy court challenges. "The president's powers here are beyond question," White House adviser Stephen Miller said on the "Fox News Sunday" programme.
Miller referred to immigration law that the executive order is based on that gives the US president broad powers to restrict who enters the country on national security grounds.
However, the same law forbids discrimination on race, sex, nationality or place of birth or residence. The case also could involve First Amendment protections involving religion.
The executive order Trump issued banned entry into the United States to refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, triggering nationwide protests and legal challenges.
A week later, a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order that put the president's travel ban on hold, eliciting a barrage of angry Twitter messages from Trump. The judge's suspension was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Thursday.
Miller, appearing on several television news shows, criticised the court and its ruling.
"The 9th Circuit has a long history of being overturned and the 9th Circuit has a long history of overreaching," he said on the Fox news show. "This is a judicial usurpation of power."
The powers to restrict entry into the United States "represent the very apex of presidential authority," he added.
"We have multiple options and we are considering all of them," Miller said while appearing on ABC's "This Week."
Those include formulating a new executive action, appealing the 9th Circuit panel's decision to the full appeals court and appealing the emergency stay to the Supreme Court, he said.
If the Seattle lawsuit goes to trial, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said on Sunday he will depose Trump administration officials to uncover "what truly motivated" the president's executive order.
Documents and emails authored by administration officials may contain evidence that the order was an unconstitutional attempt to ban Muslims from entering the United States, and Ferguson said on ABC's "This Week" that he will use "every tool" at his disposal to bring those to light.
However, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Sunday he would depose Trump administration officials to uncover "what truly motivated" President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration if the case he brought against it goes to trial.
Documents and emails authored by administration officials may contain evidence that the order was an unconstitutional attempt to ban Muslims from entering the United States, and Ferguson will use "every tool" at his disposal to bring those to light, he told ABC's "This Week."
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Sunday said "Islamophobia" in parts of the world was fuelling terrorism.
The secretary-general made the comment to reporters after talks with Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
"One of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world of Islamophobic feelings and Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate speeches," Guterres said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
"This is the best support that Daesh can have to make its own propaganda," Guterres said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
Guterres said, "We will never be successful in fighting terrorism in Syria if an inclusive political solution is not found for the Syrian people."
A new round of UN-sponsored peace talks is scheduled for February 20 in Geneva.