On February 3rd, we saw President Trump’s executive order travel ban suspended by a Seattle judge. Less than a week later, the suspension was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. So, what happens next?
There are several options that the White House can take when it comes to implementing the president’s “extreme vetting” measures. While there has been speculation that President Trump will appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court, it also seems probable that he might bypass the courts altogether by drafting a brand new executive order.
President Trump has not yet made his exact intentions known. When speaking with reporters last Friday, he said, “We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country. You’ll be seeing that sometime next week.”
Trigger warning: some of you might not like what I’m going to say next.
It may sound counterintuitive, but the recent developments regarding the travel ban might be a positive thing. Why? Because the rejection of the travel ban could force the White House to create an executive order that is more effective than the one they issued previously. Furthermore, it could keep the Trump administration from making mistakes like this in the future.
In retrospect, the implementation of the original executive order was inefficient. While the executive order is legal, the execution was clumsy. It was put into effect by people with no real experience in creating these types of policies. Of course, experience would not be as much of an issue if the Trump administration had relied on guidance from other parties.
The administration did not go through the protocols necessary to ensure that the execution of the order would progress smoothly. They didn’t bother to wait until Trump’s cabinet was complete. In a piece written for CNN, Evan Perez stated, “A source said the creation of the executive order did not follow the standard agency review process that’s typically overseen by the National Security Council.” Perez went on to write,
Separately, a person familiar with the matter said career officials in charge of enforcing the executive order were not fully briefed on the specifics until Friday. The officials were caught off guard by some of the specifics and raised questions about how to handle the new banned passengers on US-bound planes.
There was confusion regarding the status of green card holders and those who were in route when the order was issued. The left had a field day with this.
Because green card holders are already thoroughly vetted, there is no reason to include them in the ban. In a piece written for the National Review, Charles C.W. Cooke writes about his experience in becoming a green card holder,
It took me a year from application to acceptance, and the vast majority of that time was taken up by the FBI. In addition to furnishing the government with my residential history, my employment history, and my criminal record (which is clean), I had to provide details of any clubs or societies to which I have ever belonged, to promise I wasn’t a terrorist or a Nazi or a communist, and to submit my fingerprints and a government-taken photograph on top. Which is to say: I had to go through the wringer before my card was issued.
The decision of the Ninth Circus — I mean, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gives the White House the opportunity to draft a better executive order. This time, the Trump administration can learn from their mistake and create an order that will be harder to reject.
President Trump is human. He is going to make mistakes. However, the issue isn’t whether or not he makes mistakes. The issue is whether he can learn from those mistakes. If President Trump is willing to lean on his team for guidance, he will avoid problems like this in the future. Hopefully this experience will cause the President to consider the greater ramifications of his actions. If this happens, he will be a much more effective president, and the United States will be better off for it.