Two Blows To The Radical Right

As I begin writing this, it has been about three hours since Hawaii’s US district judge Derrick K. Watson issued a nationwide temporary block to the revised travel ban that was due to be implemented at midnight. A few key quotes from Judge Watson explain his decision:

  • Based upon the current record available, however, the Court cannot find the actions taken during the interval between revoked Executive Order No. 13,769 and the new Executive Order to be ‘genuine changes in constitutionally significant conditions’.
  • The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.
  • Because a reasonable, objective observer – enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance – would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously-neutral purpose, the Court finds that Plaintiffs, and Dr. Elshikh in particular, are likely to succeed on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim.

The judge also considered Trump’s own words and those of his advisors in determining the constitutionality of the ban:

  • The day after signing the first Executive Order [No. 13,769], President Trump’s advisor, Rudolph Giuliani, explained on television how the Executive Order came to be. He said: “When [Mr. Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’”
  • In an interview on January 25, 2017, Mr. Trump discussed his plans to implement “extreme vetting” of people seeking entry into the United States. He remarked: “[N]o, it’s not the Muslim ban. But it’s countries that have tremendous terror. . . . [I]t’s countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems.”
  • When signing the first Executive Order [No. 13,769], President Trump read the title, looked up, and said: “We all know what that means.” President Trump said he was “establishing a new vetting measure to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” and that: “We don’t want them here.”
  • The Government appropriately cautions that, in determining purpose, courts should not look into the “veiled psyche” and “secret motives” of government decisionmakers and may not undertake a “judicial psychoanalysis of a drafter’s heart of hearts”. The Government need not fear. The remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry. For instance, there is nothing “veiled” about this press release: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Perhaps Trump’s hateful rhetoric is coming back to bite him in the posterior?

When Trump learned of the judge’s decision, he was just about to begin speaking at a rally in Nashville, Tennessee (the man already won the election … why is he still holding rallies???).  He had this to say to his supporters at the rally:

“I issued an executive order. But let me give you the bad news. We don’t like bad news … I’ll turn it into good. But let me give you the bad, the sad news. Moments ago I learned that a district judge in Hawaii, part of the much overturned ninth circuit court – and I have to be nice, otherwise I’ll be criticised for speaking poorly about our courts [he indicates the media here] … I would never want to do that. A judge has just blocked our executive order on travel and refugees coming into our country from certain countries. The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and that should never have been blocked to start with … This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach.

You don’t think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you, no? This makes us look weak … Just look at our borders. We’re going to fight this terrible ruling. We’re going to take this as far as we need to, right up to the supreme court. We’re going to win. We’re going to keep our people safe. I think we ought to go back to the first one [executive order] and go all the way … We’re gonna win it, we’re gonna win it. The best way to keep foreign terrorists – or as some would say, radical Islamic terrorists – the best way to stop them is to keep them from entering our country in the first place.” 

It is reported that during the rally, the crowd was chanting, “Lock her up!”.  What the heck?  The judge that Trump was railing against is a man, Hillary Clinton is not an issue … so who the heck did they want to lock up???

AG-ChinHawaii’s attorney general, Doug Chin, said he had no option but to challenge the US president’s latest travel ban because it “takes us back half a century”.



Bye-Bye Geert!

In news from the other side of the globe, populist candidate Geert Wilders’ party has been defeated in the elections in the Netherlands.  The incumbent, Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, and his liberal VVD party appear to have comfortably beaten the anti-Islam Freedom party of Geert Wilders to become the largest in the new parliament. Dutch politics being the confusing creature it is, I will not delve into the multi-party system that I do not fully understand, despite much reading (I will be asking my friend, Choosing, for some assistance here).  Suffice it to say that this is the 2nd blow to the populist movement in Europe in a four-month period, starting with Norbert Hofer losing the Austrian election in December.

I am pleased by the results in the Netherlands for two reasons.  The first is that Wilders ia very similar to Donald Trump in many ways, most notably his anti-Islamic stance, and has even been frequently referred to as the “Dutch Donald Trump”.  He had called on the EU to ban immigration by Muslims, and last year was on trial for the second time for inciting hatred against the Dutch Moroccan minority. The second reason his loss pleases me is that I believe it is a sign that Europeans are taking a more moderate stance these days, and with elections coming up in France next month, and Germany in September, both of which have a far-right populist candidate, it may be that those elections, also, will result in a less drastic result than was earlier anticipated.

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker called the election results “A vote for Europe, a vote against extremists.” And Prime Minister Rutte said, “Our message to the Netherlands – that we will hold our course, and keep this country safe, stable and prosperous, got through.” 

Wilders did not go down quietly, vowing to continue his fight, saying that his fierce message had resonated with Dutch voters and that he would prevail as the victor of the next elections. “We’ll have to wait for the next time to make this happen. I guarantee you, this patriotic spring will start. It has already started.”

Today will, no doubt, bring news on both Trump’s travel ban and the Dutch elections, but for the moment, I have told you all I know, so it is time for me to turn my attention elsewhere.  Have a happy Thursday, dear readers!

34 thoughts on “Two Blows To The Radical Right

  1. Imagining that T even has a brain, how does he explain to himself that any person of any religion, region, color or language, could cause terrorist activities. Questioning and berating people different from himself is ridiculous. You might as well invoke the Jewish star emblem again. Everyone has to physically wear their heritage for all to see. Welcome to America, everyone, oh, btw, tell me……Stick! I applaud the Hawaiin judge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe it’s called Separation of Powers. As I understand it, the arrangement was put in place to keep a President under control, lest a tyrant arise. Every president has to accept this. The best approach is be…’Presidential’ (ie dignified)
    ‘Lock her Up?’ …to quote from Pride & Prejudice, when the heroine’s father (Mr Barnett) is being very sardonic ‘I’m afraid you have the advantage of me. To what……’ (then we can add ‘person and for what reason are you alluding to?’) .
    Yes it was nice to see a ‘populist’ getting rejected- these folk are nasty pieces of work of myopic thoughts.
    Next test is in France……now Marine Le Penn is a different, shrewder operator, check this BBC link
    Still, there is always hope

    Liked by 1 person

        • That too! I wonder … you are closer to this than I, but is there any sign that those who supported Brexit are regretting their decision? It seems that it is much more of a tangled web than I ever would have guessed …

          Liked by 1 person

          • Aww Jill, it’s all very British.
            We’ve blundered into something that no one really thought through AND now we are here we really don’t know what to do with it.
            As I’ve said before, if it wasn’t for the increase in Hate Crime this would be rather funny.
            Never mind we have these options:
            1. Move to Germany (some brits already resident there are taking up German citizenship, a few are moving).
            2. Move to Scotland; Scots SNP leader Nicola (don’t mess with the lady) Sturgeon has issued an invite to folk if they don’t like Brexit come to Scotland.
            3.Wait for it to pass (usual British response)
            4. Do something wrong but heroic (another usual British response).
            5. Learn Conversational Chinese (they seemed to buying up bits of the UK at an efficient rate)
            6. Pretend everything is fine.
            7. Take up a hobby.
            8. Write fantasy novels.
            9. Talk to the plants in your garden or house or your pets.(you’ll get more sense)
            10. If you know your Monty Python recall the sketch were a soldier is being court martialled for not taking the war seriously and sing the song ‘Any- Ting! Goes’
            11. Combine 1-10 in any permutation you thing suits you.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jill,

    DT’s surrogates like Stephan Miller need to be interviewed more often to get their anti-Muslim stance on the record, as, this helped the federal judges in their decision making to freeze DT’s current travel ban/ Muslim ban.

    I was very pleased when the Netherlands announced that the votes would be hand counted. I hope France does the same and that this trend of Trump like candidates for high offices keep losing. This would translate into Russia wasting a lot of monies.

    Hugs, Gronda..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Netherlands repudiation was very nice to see. While I hope it does, the Hawaiian decision may not stand up in appeal. This action by our President actually does little to solve a problem and makes us less safer to boot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I, too, have concerns about the Hawaiian decision standing up on appeal, but a Maryland judge issued a similar order, and I believe a court in Washington state is also looking at it. It is such a pointless, yet destructive order that, as you said, actually makes us less safe. Not to mention less respected globally.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just have to say, I really like the format of your blog. This was really concise and easy enough to understand by someone as ‘not politically-savvy’ as myself. I’m not sure if you do this kind of thing, but I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The courts are our main hope, to be sure. But this man beggars belief. He issues forth with sentences like: ” [I]t’s countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems.” and we wonder what the hell he is trying to say. He is verbally impaired. And the requires the rallies to reassure himself that he is adored.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hooray Nederlanders! Goed gedaan!
    If Britain’s Brexit is the cost of the rest of Europe being energised to be sensible – or something better articulated than that, sorry, slept too well and brain fuddled – I suppose that’s at least a small consolation.
    And yay for Hawaii.
    Love that last quote.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, finally some good news! And your comment on Brexit is rather the same thought I had about Trump. I told a friend just this morning that at least one consolation is that perhaps people in Europe were looking at the mess we have and realizing they need to be more sensible than ‘those damn Yankees’ were. 😀 Fingers crossed that the Hawaiian judge’s ruling will hold up on appeal.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Geert Wilders defeat is a win for common sense. Another neo-Nazi threat put down. I hope France chooses to do the same with Marine LePen.
    Well done to the Judge in Hawaii.I hope the appeal court upholds his decision. Trump’s ban should never get the green light.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Agreed! I think perhaps the Europeans are looking at the mess we have made of things and deciding they do not want to live in this sort of a chaotic, upside-down world! One thing I must say in Geert’s favour is that he handled his loss much more civilly than I think Trump would have! I believe Trump would have spent the whole night tweeting, cursing, shaking his tiny fist, and threatening! I, too, hope to see France follow suit. Too many idiots in high positions does NOT bode well for the survival of the world.
      I’m not sure how well Judge Watson’s order will stand up on appeal, but Maryland has, I believe, issued a similar ruling and Washington State is looking to perhaps do the same, so I think there will be multiple challenges. You are right … his order is not only unnecessary, but has the potential to do great harm to many. Sigh. Many hugs, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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