Jump to content

Travel Ban Appeal--Legal Arguments


Recommended Posts

Question for our resident barristers since I'm not one, nor have I played one on TV:

"This order is aimed at aliens abroad, who themselves don't have constitutional rights," [Acting Solicitor General] Wall said in a hearing..."

Isn't this both irrelevant and untrue?

First and most importantly, irrelevant because the plaintiff's question is regarding freedom of religion and the establishment clause.  The 1st Amendment does not grant or protect rights of people or citizens, rather it specifically denies the government the power to initiate actions that impose on religious freedom or favor any specific establishment of religion over another.  It denies power to the government, it doesn't grant power or rights to individuals.

Secondly, I'm not aware of any 'aliens abroad' that are plaintiffs in this case.  Didn't it originate with the Washington State Attorney General suing to halt the ban because of damages he/she claimed it would do to their state?  (I'm not certain of the identities of all the plaintiffs, however.)  In other words, from a legal standpoint, isn't it about the states' rights, not "aliens' abroad" rights, so alien rights are irrelevant?

As for untrue?  Here I'm even less certain, but most of the Amendments that protect rights refer to 'people', 'persons', or 'the accused'.  Other than election law (who can vote, how representation is allotted, etc.), I can't think of a case where a constitutional right specifically excludes non-citizens or aliens.

Am I overlooking something?  What sort of precedent is there regarding the rights of non-citizens, foreigners or 'aliens abroad'?   (Of course, once they arrive on U.S. soil, they're no longer 'abroad'.)




SEATTLE — Federal judges on Monday peppered a lawyer for President Donald Trump with questions about whether the administration's travel ban discriminates against Muslims and zeroed in on the president's campaign statements, the second time in a week the rhetoric has faced judicial scrutiny.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, who is defending the travel ban, told a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals that "over time, the president clarified that what he was talking about was Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that sponsor or shelter them."


"This order is aimed at aliens abroad, who themselves don't have constitutional rights," Wall said in a hearing broadcast live on C-Span and other news stations.




Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...