Justices on 9th Circuit feuding over travel ban ruling: report

Justices on 9th Circuit feuding over travel ban ruling: report
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A feud is reportedly playing out among judges on the federal appeals court that upheld a block on President Trump's original travel ban.

Politico reported Saturday that five judges on the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week publicly recorded their disagreement with last month's ruling made by three of their colleagues.

Days later, on Friday, another filing from the court's conservative justices argued that most people affected by the original travel ban are not entitled to Constitutional protections, because they have not yet entered the U.S.

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"The vast majority of foreigners covered by the executive order have no Due Process rights," Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in the filing, joined by four other conservative justices. 

"Nevertheless, the district court enjoined the order’s travel provisions in their entirety, even as applied to the millions of aliens who have no constitutional rights whatsoever because they have never set foot on American soil."

The court's liberal justices fired back, saying that the conservative judges were trying to influence ongoing legal dispute over Trump's revised travel ban issued last week. That case, two of the justices argued, was not current before their court, and the conservatives' filing was an unwarranted expression of their personal views.

"Judges are empowered to decide issues properly before them, not to express their personal views on legal questions no one has asked them," Judge Marsha Berzon wrote, according to Politico. "There is no appeal currently before us, and so no stay motion pending that appeal currently before us either."

"We will have this discussion, or one like it," she added. "But not now."

Trump issued his first travel ban executive order on Jan. 27 barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia – from entering the U.S. That measure was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle, whose ruling was later upheld by the three-judge Ninth Circuit panel.

That prompted Trump to issue a revised ban on March 6, which exempts Iraqis from its list of banned foreign nationals and carves out exceptions for visa and green card holders. Still, the measure has drawn backlash and federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland have blocked it.

Trump reacted furiously to the Hawaii judge's injunction at a rally in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, vowing to appeal the ruling up to the Supreme Court if necessary.

"This ruling makes us look weak, which, by the way, we no longer are," he said. "Believe me."

"We're going to fight this terrible ruling. We're going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court."