Legal experts to Trump on travel ban: Twitter hurting cause

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room at the White House in Washington Monday

Trump's tweets came just a few days after the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to lift lower court rulings that blocked the executive order suspending travel from six mostly Muslim countries. However, Trump's tweets in all capital letters refer to the executive order as "a TRAVEL BAN" on "certain risky countries" and said anything short of a ban would jeopardize the safety and security of Americans.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of USA voters say the executive order aims to keep out terrorists, not discriminate against Muslims.

President Trump tweeted on Monday that he prefers to call the measure a "travel ban" as opposed to "some politically correct term". In their appeals, Justice Department lawyers have urged the high court to act on an emergency basis to revive the travel order.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded to a question Tuesday about Trump's tweets about Khan and other topics by saying, "That's up to him".

Trump needs five votes from the top court in his favour to put the ban into effect. What Collins did in his "New Day" interview is make the case I made yesterday: That Trump's Twitter feed is more important than what his staff says is the White House's position. Trump's tweets either matter or they don't. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.

Whether Trump's statements during the campaign - calling for a surely unconstitutional blanket ban on Muslim visitors from anywhere - should be taken into account by courts considering the current "watered down" version is debatable.

Trump's Monday tweets may have undercut his efforts to persuade the Supreme Court to reinstate his revised ban, experts said.

"It's kinda odd to have the defendant in Hawaii v Trump acting as our co-counsel", Neal Katyal, the attorney for a group of West Coast plaintiffs, said in a tweet of his own. But he would call the order "what we need and what it is - A TRAVEL BAN".

Never mind that Trump himself signed the revised order, which was meant to avert legal challenges, and that Justice Department lawyers have repeatedly argued the new policy does not target Muslims.

Donald Trump faces his worst enemy when he first wakes up each morning.


"It shows that the ban is a ban, and that's the goal".

Even a notable administration supporter joined the criticism of Trump's tweeting. NY lawyer George T. Conway III, whose wife is White House aide Kellyanne Conway, wrote that online statements "may make some ppl feel better", but won't help win a Supreme Court majority.

'The [point] can not be stressed enough that tweets on legal matters seriously undermine Admin agenda and POTUS-and those who support him, as I do, need to reinforce that [point] and not be shy about it'.

"I think there are people in the White House - wouldn't be surprised if [Kellyanne] Conway is one of them - who are trying everything to try and get him to stop tweeting", he told BI.

But that argument could be hard, especially with numerous past cases where courts used comments from politicians to judge the intent of a piece of legislation.

Trump has used attacks around the world to justify his pursuit of the travel and immigration ban, one of his first acts since taking office. They have been arguing that the executive order on immigration was based on credible national security concerns unrelated to religion, and his campaign statements should be ignored.

Of course, the legal briefs that Trump's administration has filed don't call the order a travel ban. The administration appealed to the nation's highest court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld the freeze on the ban last month.

The Twitter evidence is that Trump would like to go further than he did to limit travel.

After that order was struck down, the administration chose to write a second directive rather than appeal the initial ban to the Supreme Court. Then what does he do? "The lawyer in this case happens to be Jeff Sessions".

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