Andrew, fair point in terms of “I’m a lawyer” doesn’t mean I’m always right on the law or the…
Scott Badenoch

“Furthermore, you are incorrect about what Obama did in 2011. It was not a ban and it certainly wasn’t a violation of the constitution.”

Hmmm, I don’t believe I said it was ban or a violation of the constitution and a quick check reveals…nope, no I didn’t.

I pointed out that Trump’s policy was “substantively different and worse” than Obama’s policy (which I explicitly labeled a travel restriction), but the latter did not, as you originally said, only limit Americans from traveling to those seven countries. The Obama administration policy did, in fact, limit travel from the seven countries to the United States.

Your exact words were “State under Obama said that these 7 nations are risky for Americans to visit, not the other way around…”

I have proven that to be factually untrue so you are now moving the goal posts by fixating on the semantic difference between “ban” and “freeze” or “slow down” and the debatable constitutionality of the order.

But for fun, let’s follow the goal posts as they move.

Let’s compare the Obama era “slow down” of Iraqi SIVs—a different-but-related issue to the seven-nation restriction—to Trump’s ban. Under the Obama slow down, the US saw an influx of ~18K Iraqi refugees in 2010, only ~6K in 2011 and then ~16K in 2012. The left-wing echo chamber says that’s not a ban because Iraqi refugees were still permitted to travel to the US, just at a slow trickle. Well, Trump’s ban also allows for case-by-case exemptions if the order can be taken at face value i.e. the travel ban isn’t absolute. The difference, of course, is that we don’t know whether the ban can be taken at face value, whether exemptions will be granted and whether travel will resume at the appointed time.

However, if the answer to all of that is yes, then “ban” vs. “freeze” or “slow down” is a distinction without difference. The end result will be that travel will be significantly reduced during the term of the policy and will return to near-normal levels once it expires.

As for the constitutionality of the order, it is obviously not open and shut despite the insistence of legal scholars on both sides of the issue. You point to the WA judge; the other side can point to the MA judge. Neither proves anything because, as you know, constitutionality isn’t decidedly conclusively by anyone but the Supreme Court.

The alleged constitutional violations are not prima facie violations. Furthermore, and, again, as you know, constitutional guarantees are not absolute; even the most hallowed protections can be infringed upon if the infringement passes a strict scrutiny test.

You point to legal scholars who believe the violations are prima facie and the reasons for infringement do not pass a strict scrutiny examination. That is fine and I probably agree with the latter, but that doesn’t magically prove the issue.

Incidentally, Slate and Vox are two of the most laughably partisan media outlets in existence. It is thoroughly unsurprising and unpersuasive that they found sympathetic voices to deem Trump’s ban problematic, but Obama’s restriction benign.

If you go on Breitbart, I’m sure you’ll find constitutional scholars who say Trump’s order is no different than Obama’s restriction.

Echo chambers gonna echo chamber.

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