Federal courts are unlikely to overturn President Donald Trump’s immigration order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, according to George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.
“The law does favor President Trump in this regard,” Turley said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. “I don’t like this order. I think it’s a terrible mistake — but that doesn’t go into the legal analysis. The Court has been extremely deferential to presidents on the border.”
Turley recalled that the courts upheld the Chinese Exclusion Act and noted that just last year former President Barack Obama was warning the courts against “second-guessing” the president on matters of national security and immigration.
“And you have things like Section 1182 of the federal law that gives sweeping authority to the president to withhold either individual aliens or groups of aliens,” he added. “All of that works to the advantage of President Trump.”
On Friday Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Somalia from entering the United States. The order has been met with protest and outrage from Trump opponents and immigration advocates who have condemned the order as an un-American Muslim ban.
According to Turley, however, the courts are unlikely to see the order as a ban on Muslims.
“I do not believe a federal court will view this as a Muslim ban,” Turley said Sunday. “I don’t think the court can. Regardless of what the court may think of President Trump’s motivations, the fact that other Muslim countries are not included is going to move that off the table and what’s going to be left is whether the president has this type of authority. Historically courts have said that he does.”
The ACLU is challenging the legality of the immigration order.