This week’s unanimous Supreme Court decision allowing parts of President Trump’s travel ban to be implemented temporarily, until the case is fully heard in October, is just one of the indications that the ongoing and unprecedented effort to delegitimize the Trump presidency by the so-called Resistance, which began virtually from the moment the election results became known, may be starting to unravel.
“Resistance” is the term used by Sen. Chuck Schumer and his Democratic Party and leftist cohorts to describe their no-holds-barred, full court campaign of obstruction and challenge to almost anything President Trump does or says. The goal, of course, is to bring about a premature end to the Trump presidency by way of impeachment or inability to govern.
It will be recalled that even before the inauguration there were several recount initiatives and Electoral College-related shenanigans. And then came a number of stories, based on “unidentified sources,” casting the president in the worst possible light, including the collusion with Russia issue, allegedly involving Mr. Trump and/or some of his aides.
These were followed by evidentially unsupported “obstruction of justice” stories about the president, leading to the appointment of a special counsel. Despite all of the focus and tumult, not a shred of evidence has yet to be produced. What we have seen however, is a virulent “take no prisoners” anti-Trump media feeding frenzy.
And then came the full court press against the president’s Executive Order barring immigration from certain countries he said were hotbeds of terrorist activity. Anti-Trump attorneys general and immigrant groups – all adverse to his campaign platform and agenda, promptly mobilized and filed lawsuits seeking to stop the implementation of his order, and also asking for preliminary injunctions until the cases could be fully tried.
But the filing of the lawsuits is only half of the story. The other half is that they forum-shopped. That is, they chose to bring the lawsuits in areas where there were federal district judges they knew would be unsympathetic to the Trump immigration ban. Just as important was their angling to engineer, through their selective choices of trial judges, the federal appeals court that would necessarily hear any appeals of the district judges.
Things went pretty much according to plan. Virtually all the trial judges ruled against the Trump order, preliminarily prohibiting its enforcement until a full trial was held, and the Trump administration’s appeals from those decisions were heard in the fourth circuit and ninth circuit U.S. appeals courts, where the judges were believed to also be negative toward the Trump program.
And they did not disappoint. All the decisions by the lower court judges temporarily staying implementation of the Trump immigration order were upheld and the president of the United States was prevented from keeping out foreigners he characterized as safety risks. Also as expected, the appeals courts affirmed those decisions.
In effect, the courts seemed to join the Resistance. And if anyone thinks that is an unacceptable leap, consider two things.
First, the Supreme Court ruling allowing the president to temporarily implement the key part of the Executive Order was unanimous.
Second, it’s important to keep in mind what the actual issue in the court cases was and was not. It was not whether the Executive Order was within the president’s authority to promulgate, but rather whether it should be enforced until such time as a final decision is rendered as to that power. Put another way, the question is whether the president should be given the benefit of the doubt until a definitive decision is made as to the extent of his powers.
In this connection, the applicable federal law reads as follows:
Wherever the president finds the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of liens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate.
It is hard to conceive of any language that would be more absolute in its granting of power over immigration to a president. Yet the various lower courts that ruled against the president would not even entertain the existence of an interim presidential presumption.
So the Resistance appears to have taken a decided hit when the entire Supreme Court declined to go along with the lower courts.
But there were other recent episodes that may indicate the anti-Trump worm is turning. Consider that Mr. Trump’s laments about “fake news” have in some prominent cases been validated.
The New York Times last week “corrected” an editorial that tied the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords six years ago to alleged incitement by Sarah Palin.
And CNN apologized for carrying a story, which it removed from its website, that claimed a prominent Trump administration figure had improper contacts with a Russian bank on a U.S. sanctions list.
And of course former FBI director James Comey debunked a major anti-Trump story that had been circulated by The New York Times and other media outlets based on unidentified sources.
Consider also that congressional committees will be investigating the role former Obama attorney general Loretta Lynch may have played in obstructing the investigation of Hillary Clinton. James Comey is slated for similar scrutiny. Questions are being raised as to why (as is now being reported) President Obama, having learned about Russian interference in the presidential campaign, did nothing until after the election.
All this is happening while, as noted above, any evidence of collusion between the president and the Russians has yet to surface.