What Does the New Travel Ban Say About Trump’s Relationship to Judges? Stay Tuned…

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Photo: Architect of the Capitol
Media Outlet: Just Security

Joshua Geltzer wrote for Just Security on what the new travel ban says about President Trump's relationship to judges and the courts:

In coming days and weeks, much of the discussion about President Donald Trump’s new travel ban will focus on its similarities and differences from its predecessors and what those mean for its avowed constitutionality and statutory basis.  And rightly so.  For the moment, though, it’s worth pausing to reflect on what its very issuance means for this President’s relationship to the courts.  As with other signature Trump activities, from the pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the practices of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (a.k.a. the “Pence-Kobach Commission”), the issuance of a new travel ban just weeks before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral argument on the last one may sit uneasily with one’s sense of proper Executive Branch respect for the judiciary.  Yet, just as with those other matters, there are ways to see the timing of the new travel ban as cause for special concern about this White House’s approach to the courts, and ways to see it as fairly ordinary Executive practice.  It’s important to spell out these different views and to consider why, at this point, each could be valid.


Joshua Geltzer is an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America. He is writing a book exploring challenges associated with modern communications technologies such as social media platforms, file-upload sites, and internet search engines.