Trump is a Bigot, Legally Speaking

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. struck down the latest version of Trump's Muslim ban yesterday by a wide margin of 9 to 4.

In what has become a common occurrence, the court cited Trump's own words in their ruling and government lawyers were unable to prove that his Muslim ban was motivated by anything other than bias.

The majority opinion reads:

Plaintiffs here do not just plausibly allege with particularity that the Proclamation’s purpose is driven by anti-Muslim bias, they offer undisputed evidence of such bias: the words of the President. This evidence includes President Trump’s disparaging comments and tweets regarding Muslims; his repeated proposals to ban Muslims from entering the United States; his subsequent explanation that he would effectuate this “Muslim” ban by targeting “territories” instead of Muslims directly; the issuance of [executive order 1] and [executive order 2], addressed only to majority-Muslim nations; and finally the issuance of the Proclamation, which not only closely tracks [executive order 1] and [executive order 2], but which President Trump and his advisors described as having the same goal as [executive order 1] and [executive order 2].


The Government does not ― and, indeed, cannot ― dispute that the President made these statements. Instead, it argues that the “statements that occurred after the issuance of [executive order 2] do not reflect any religious animus” but reflect “the compelling secular goal of protecting national security from an amply-documented present threat.” We cannot agree.

Rather, an objective observer could conclude that the President’s repeated statements convey the primary purpose of the Proclamation — to exclude Muslims from the United States. In fact, it is hard to imagine how an objective observer could come to any other conclusion when the President’s own deputy press secretary made this connection express: he explained that President Trump tweets extremist anti-Muslim videos as part of his broader concerns about “security,” which he has “addressed ... with ... the proclamation.”

Among other things, the court's ruling cited Trump's passion for retelling the same (fake) story over and over about an American general executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood.

When this is eventually argued in front of the Supreme Court, I'm fairly optimistic that the highest court will find Trump's order unconstitutional. Conservative justices may hold similar opinions about Muslims, but if Trump can ban Muslims from entering the country for thinly-veiled political reasons then a future president could ban any other group of people for political reasons.

The problem for government lawyers representing the Trump regime is that they need evidence to prove the order wasn't issued for political reasons but there's overwhelming evidence that it was.

  • Christopher Foxx

    In fact, it is hard to imagine how an objective observer could come to any other conclusion

    , said 9 out of 13 justices, telling us a lot about the other 4.

  • muselet

    This ruling is good news, of course, but I have this nagging fear the Trump administration will argue all the way to the Supreme Court and, upon losing, issue a new travel ban limiting entry of people from all countries.

    That would be bizarre and clearly insane, but bizarre and insane are the only two constants for this administration.


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