President Donald Trump plans to take the court case regarding his executive order on immigration “through the system” and, if need be, to the Supreme Court, he said Tuesday.
“It’s very important. It’s very important for the country,” he said during a meeting at the White House. “Regardless of me or whoever succeeds at a later date, we have to have security in our country. We have to have the ability.”
Trump’s executive order barred people from seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria – from traveling to the United States for 90 days. The Trump administration said it wanted to review its vetting system during that time.
The seven countries were identified by former President Barack Obama’s administration as terror hotspots.
“When you take someplace like Syria … and if you remember, ISIS said, ‘We are going to infiltrate the United States and other countries through the migration,'” Trump said. “And then we’re not allowed to be tough on the people coming in? Explain that one. So we’ll see what happens. We have a big court case, we’re well represented, and we’re going to see what happens.”
Asked if the case would make it to the Supreme Court, Trump said it could.
“I mean, we’ll see,” he said. “Hopefully it doesn’t have to. It’s common sense. You know, some things are law, and I’m all in favor of that, and some things are common sense. This is common sense.”
Late on Friday, Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee based in Washington state, blocked key parts of the order nationwide. Trump attacked Robart on Twitter over the weekend, calling him a “so-called judge” and suggesting the public blame both Robart and the broader court system for any future terror attack on US soil.
The Justice Department subsequently filed for an immediate restoration of the travel ban but was rejected. Attorneys said the ban was lawful because of the president’s wide-reaching authority to protect the nation under what it deemed a national-security threat.
Judges at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, will hear arguments from both parties on Tuesday.
Either party in the case, State of Washington v. Trump, could appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, which has had only eight justices since Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. If the court were to deadlock, as it did last year regarding an Obama executive order on immigration, the appellate court’s ruling would stand.
When the travel ban was implemented late last month, it was interpreted by the White House to include barring those who are legal permanent residents in the US, known as green-card holders, which caused chaos at airports across the country as they were detained. After a series of temporary stays from federal judges, the Department of Homeland Security soon after ordered green-card holders from the countries be allowed into the US.