Famed Harvard Law professor and attorney Alan Dershowitz harshly criticized President Trump’s immigration ban in an interview with Newsmax on Monday.
“It was badly executed, overbroad, and just not consistent with the best values of what America should be like,” he said, before adding:
“I think the whole thing was rolled out very poorly. They apparently never really checked with the lawyers. It could have been crafted in a way that made constitutional challenges more difficult. So, I think the roll out was very unfortunate.”
Still, Dershowitz, a leading proponent of civil liberties and a defense attorney who advised on the O.J. Simpson murder trial and worked on Nelson Mandela’s defense team, stopped short of calling the ban unconstitutional, noting that determination is incredibly nuanced, in an interview with CNN.
The question over constitutionality of Trump’s executive order on immigration – which bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from traveling to the US for 90 days – heated up after acting Attorney General Sally Yates said the ban might not be lawful.
Dershowitz pushed back on this assertion on Monday. “Sally Yates is a terrific public servant, but I think she’s made a serious mistake here,” Dershowitz said on CNN.
“There is also a distinction between what’s constitutional, what’s statutorily prohibited, what’s bad policy – this is very bad policy – but what’s lawful,” he said. “I think by lumping them all together she has made a political decision rather than a legal one,” he concluded, noting that he believed parts to be constitutional while other parts may not hold up under scrutiny.
Trump fired Yates on Monday, according to a statement from White House press secretary Sean Spicer.