It’s Trump versus the courts

04 February 2017 12:28 pm

And so in the latest news, a Bush-appointed Federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary nationwide restraining order stopping President Trump's executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. h

The ruling, made at the request of Washington and Minnesota, is the broadest to date against Trump's executive order. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the lawsuit arguing that the travel ban targets Muslims and violates constitutional rights of immigrants and their families.

The reality is the US courts are shaping up to be big battle ground in Trump’s America. Litigation by states and cities will become an increasingly important form of resistance for Democrats in the Trump era.

The reason for that is simple. Democrats have not been in a weaker position since the 1920s. Republicans control both houses of Congress. They also have majorities in both chambers of 32 state legislatures and occupy 33 governors’ mansions. In light of this Republican hegemony, legal action by states and cities will become the most potent tool Democrats have to stymie Mr Trump’s agenda.

On January 29th, Attorneys general from 16 US states, including California and New York, condemned President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration as “unconstitutional” and vowed to fight it. They vowed to “use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order.”

They pledged they would “work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.”

Four Democratic attorneys-general have officially filed or signed onto lawsuits challenging the restrictions.

And on January 31st, the city of San Francisco sued Mr Trump over another executive order demanding that federal funding be withheld from so-called “sanctuary cities” that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told The Associated Press that lawyers, including attorneys general, are having an “awakening” regarding the Trump administration.

“This is a president who does not have respect for the rule of the law,” Schneiderman said. “That’s something that bothers a lot of people.”

The reality is it is starting to bother business too. If there’s no rule of law for one group of people in society, there’s no rule of law for anyone.

As a private citizen, Donald Trump and his businesses were in the courts all the time. In this respect, his presidential career is heading down the same path.