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Political Editors / May 10, 2017

ACLU: Campaign Rhetoric Means More Than Text of Law

The Fourth Circuit considers whether Trump's speeches trump the text of his travel ban executive order.

On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of Donald Trump’s second “travel ban” executive order. Recall that Trump’s second EO was immediately challenged and is currently working its way through the courts. Through the various arguments being presented, what has become increasingly clear (as if it wasn’t already) is the leftist expectation that the courts should become vehicles for political and social activism rather than a place of unbiased and objective rulings.

While intent specifically regarding one’s actions is indeed in the purview of the court when deciding a case, when the case regards ruling on the constitutionality of a law or an executive order, it is the text of the document which is in question. In other words, for a court to be able to determine whether an order is constitutional, the judges must read and understand the ramifications of the order’s text, not rely on their own presumptions regarding the intentions or campaign pronouncements of the executive — intentions that are not expressly written in the order or law. Words have meaning.

Arguing before the Fourth Circuit, a lawyer for the ACLU sought to make the case that Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order was unconstitutional based not on the text of the order itself, but upon the presumption that Trump intended the order as a means of enacting a Muslim ban. The lawyer argued the point basing it upon Trump’s campaign rhetoric in which he stated that he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the country. When asked by one of the judges if the executive order would be upheld as constitutional had it had been Hillary Clinton or someone else who authorized it, the lawyer conceded that based upon the text it would be. And he’s right — there’s nothing unconstitutional about the text.

It remains to be seen how the Fourth Circuit will rule, but hopefully the judges are seeing through the leftist charade and make their ruling based upon the text of the order.

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