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US federal court rejects Trump’s racist travel ban

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Issue 2540
Protesting against the Muslim ban in Washington, DC
Protesting against the Muslim ban in Washington, DC (Pic: Ted Eytan/flikr)

US president Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and Muslims was deemed illegal at the beginning of this week. But the thuggish bully immediately hit back.

The legal battles continues—and could eventually reach the Supreme Court.

Trump’s executive order stopped citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries—Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen—from entering the US for 90 days. It also halts all refugee applications for 120 days and anyone from Syria indefinitely.

Last Friday Seattle-based judge James Robart blocked the ban but his ruling was ignored by border guards at two airports.

Trump tore into Robart tweeting, “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, it is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

He added, “Bad people are very happy! Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril.”


White House lawyers tried to have the ruling lifted by a higher court which hears appeals from Seattle. But this court (“The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit”) rebuffed Trump.

Trump lawyers had argued that he can essentially do what he likes. They argued that a judge’s “second-guessing” was not allowed in any matters of “foreign affairs, national security, and immigration”.

But they lost. All the legal moves that are taking place are not divorced from the protests.

Judges and the legal system have their own interests. But they cannot ignore the wider issues. They risk becoming reviled by millions if they do.

There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers… What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

US president Donald Trump

The more the protests continue, the more the legal cases are likely to obstruct Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to hurl grenades into the US establishment.

The cover of the bosses’ magazine The Economist this week featured a cartoon of Trump hurling a petrol bomb. Inside it said “As Trump rages against the world America’s allies are worried—rightly so.”

When asked about Russian leader Vladimir Putin Trump said, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers.

“What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

He then gave the 2003 invasion of Iraq as an example.

This doesn’t mean Trump is rejecting US imperialism.

This week US defence secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis waded into the highly-charged rivalries in the South China Sea where at least seven states vie for territory.

Mattis backed Japan to the hilt over disputed islets in the East China Sea.

Trump is at war with millions at home, and he threatens war abroad.

Democrats under pressure

Leading figures in the Democratic Party have tried to rush to the head of the movement against Trump in the US.

But many activists are angry that the Democrats aren’t providing sufficient opposition.

Last week thousands of people gathered outside the luxury apartment building where top Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer lives.

Protesters chanted “Chuck! Chuck! Don’t sell us out! We need a fighter to knock Trump out!”

They held placards saying, “Resist Trump” and “Show Some Spine Schumer” — while also chanting “Shut it down, shut it down, New York is an immigrant town.”

Brad Wolchansky, who was carrying a cardboard cut-out of a giant eye, told the New York Post, “Senator Schumer needs to know we’re watching him. We need him to be bold. We need him to stand up to Trump and oppose his cabinet picks.”

More could come of the Trump protests than just a stronger movement on the streets.

They can fuel a debate about what sort of political movement is needed that could go beyond the Democrats, who have repeatedly failed working class people.

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