President Donald Trump acted well within his authority in issuing his executive order on immigration, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told a federal appeals court on Wednesday.
Paxton, a Republican, attached a brief in asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California for permission to argue in support of Trump’s temporary ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Texas is the first state to back Trump in the closely watched litigation. A group of 15 states and the District of Columbia have filed papers with the appeals court in support of Washington state’s challenge to Trump’s Jan. 27 order, saying it harms their educational institutions and economies.
Paxton said the full court should reconsider whether a lower court judge was justified in halting the ban.
U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle suspended Trump’s order across the country on Feb. 3. Washington state argued that it violated constitutional protections against religious discrimination.
That ruling was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco last week, raising questions about Trump’s next step. The appeals court will soon vote on whether to reconsider the case with an 11-judge panel.
Trump’s directive, which he said was necessary to protect the United States from attacks by Islamist militants, barred people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days. Refugees were banned for 120 days, except those from Syria, who were banned indefinitely.
The rulings put the order on hold until the courts can rule on the underlying merits. Ultimately, they will have to address questions about the extent of the president’s power on matters of immigration and national security.
Traditionally, judges have been extremely cautious about stepping on the executive branch’s authority in such matters, legal experts said.
In the brief, Paxton said the order had a clear national security goal, to ensure proper vetting of foreigners seeking entry into the United States. It “reflects national-security interests implicated by the ongoing War on Terror against radical Islamic terrorists.”
Paxton rejected any claim that the order discriminates against Muslims while favoring Christian minorities. If that argument is accepted, he said, it would jeopardize the government’s ability to help persecuted religious minorities abroad by granting them refugee status.
Texas led the legal fight against President Barack Obama’s plan to protect up to four million immigrants from deportation, joined by 25 other Republican-led states. The challengers won a February 2015 nationwide injunction blocking the program before it was due to go into effect.
In June 2016, the Supreme Court split 4-4 in the case, leaving in place an appeals court ruling in favor of the states..
A major question in that litigation was whether Texas had legal standing to sue, an issue that the Supreme Court did not resolve. In Wednesday’s brief, Texas did not address whether Washington and other states had standing to sue over Trump’s ban.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Additional reporting by Lawrence Hurley in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)
Trump blasted for ‘avalanche of lying’ in brutal takedown by CNN fact-checker
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale provided a brutal dose of reality after President Donald Trump constantly mislead Americans with his false claims during the first 2020 general election presidential debate.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer introduced Dale by recapping that, in his opinion, "clearly this debate was an embarrassment for the United States of America -- a clear embarrassment."
"How much was fact?" Blitzer asked. "How much was false?"
"Well, it depended Wolf on who we were listening to," Dale replied.
"I think it's important for us as journalists to say when both sides are not alike -- and they were not alike tonight," he explained.
WATCH: Van Jones delivers epic lecture on CNN after Trump ‘refused to condemn white supremacy’
CNN political analyst Van Jones tore into Donald Trump after the president's highly controversial decision to repeatedly refuse to condemn white supremacy at the first 2020 general election debate.
"Only three things happened for me tonight," Jone said.
"Number one, Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacy," he explained.
"Number two, the president of the United States refused to condemn white supremacy," he continued.
"Number three, the commander-in-chief refused to condemn white supremacy on the global stage -- in front of my children, in front of everybody's families -- and he was given the opportunity multiple times to condemn white supremacy," Jones said.
Jake Tapper stunned by Trump’s debate: ‘That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck’
CNN Jake Tapper reacted in shock on Tuesday following the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.
"That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck," Tapper said. "That was the worst debate I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn't even a debate. It was a disgrace."
"And it's primarily because of President Trump," he remarked, "who spent the entire time interrupting, not abiding by the rules that he agreed to, lying, maliciously attacking the son of the vice president. When asked to condemn white supremacists, he brought up the name of a neo-fascist, far-right group and said, 'Stand back and stand by.'"