Life in a traveling ban

The Supreme Court was right to mostly reinstate the president’s travel ban

It’s why you get three estimates on a home repair. It’s why you get a second opinion on your health. And it’s why we have appellate courts.

 

Individuals just don’t always get it right.

We think the U.S. Supreme Court got it right on Monday when it overturned the bulk of lower courts’ rulings that had outlawed a temporary travel ban from terror-prone nations.

The lower court rulings had, in our view, usurped executive authority, substituted the courts’ judgment for that of the president, and arguably put the nation at great risk.

Moreover, the Supreme Court — which reinstituted the Trump administration’s moratorium and said it would hear the case in full next October — was both judicious and practical in its reasoning.

“An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee,” the court ruled, “can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded. As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.”

It just makes sense.

That the ruling Monday was unambiguous, and unanimous, was statement enough. But three justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch — said they would’ve gone even further and upheld the travel moratorium completely.

“I fear that the court’s remedy will prove unworkable,” Thomas wrote. “Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.”

Thomas and his two colleagues raise a valid point: Will the lower courts, which unlawfully substituted their own judgment for that of the president, now stand over his shoulder and micromanage exactly which attempted immigrants and refugees have enough of a “bona fide relationship” with America and which do not?

It would’ve been best had the courts accepted their proper role in this matter — which is largely none at all.

Those lower court rulings, mostly by the ultraliberal Ninth Circuit Court, were oddly political and trafficked in emotion and other tangential issues.

The U.S. Supreme Court stuck largely to the matters at hand.

That’s all we should ever want from our courts.

 

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