The reason Trump signs executive orders without reading them: He can’t read. Example: Lawfare post.
The Lawfare post in question is by Benjamin Wittes, and I blogged a very interesting post by him yesterday.
Politico‘s Louis Nelson reports:
Citing a legal blog with ties to the Brookings Institution, President Donald Trump said Friday that an appeals court’s unanimous ruling upholding a stay of his controversial executive orders on immigration and refugees was “a disgraceful decision.”
“LAWFARE: ‘Remarkably, in the entire opinion, the panel did not bother even to cite this (the) statute.’ A disgraceful decision!” Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning.
The president, who is believed to be an avid viewer of morning cable news programs, pecked out his post to Twitter just minutes after MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” discussed the Lawfare blog entry to which Trump referred.
Lawfare is a legal blog that covers the intersection of national security and the legal world. Its website reads that it is published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, a well-known Washington think tank.
The author of the Lawfare post, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow in governance studies at Brookings and the co-founder of the blog, later Friday morning tweeted a link to the post with a note that he backs the court’s ruling.
“You decide whether the POTUS is quoting me in context. Here’s the article. For the record, I support the decision,” he writes.
The post Trump referred to breaks down the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling, released Thursday, upholding a stay on the president’s executive order temporarily banning individuals from certain majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. The White House has vowed to continue to fight for the orders and has expressed confidence that they will ultimately be upheld in court, but Thursday ruling keeps them out of effect, at least for the time being.
In its post, Lawfare urges readers to disregard much of the appeals court’s scolding of Trump, including over his demands that the judicial system be deferential to him in cases of national security. Instead, the author notes that “remarkably, in the entire opinion, the panel did not bother even to cite this statute, which forms the principal statutory basis for the executive order,” a passage that the president excerpted for his tweet Friday morning.
But the post also notes how the 9th circuit ruling also wraps in Trump’s past rhetoric on the campaign trail and on social media and applies it to his executive orders. . .
Here’s the Lawfare post in question:
Today’s 9th Circuit decision is a bit less of a big deal than it will play in the press tomorrow; it will play big both because of the high stakes of the current litigation and because of some rhetorical excess in the opinion itself. The hype is also a function of the fact that had the court issued the stay the government sought, that would have been a very big deal as it would have caused the order to snap back into effect just as suddenly as President Trump loosed it on the world the other day.
So this stay denial is something of a dog that didn’t bark—but didn’t bark very loudly.
Let’s deal with the moral throat clearing and virtue signaling of the opinion first. Lawyers dream about becoming judges, particularly 9th Circuit judges, to write opinions like this. So phrases about how the President is not above the law, and citations to cases like Endo and Ex Parte Milligan are inevitable, as are the arch and clucking dismissals of presidential demands for deference in national security cases and the intoning of the fact that it’s the job of the judiciary to say what the law is. Ignore all that stuff. It’s exciting. It’s fun to read. It’s a reminder that we live in interesting and dangerous times. But it’s not ultimately what this case turns on.
This case is about two big questions, only one of which the panel’s per curiam today even mentions. The first question is how broad the president’s authority is to limit admissions from the relevant seven countries—and to what extent that authority is limited by constitutional law—under a statute that gives him the sweeping power to do this: . . .
Trump also sent an incomprehensible message (in all caps): “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Trump apparently did not realize that he (meaning his administration) had just seen them in court. And he lost. Loser. Sad.