Kendall Coffey on i24News – New immigration Ban Might Fare Better in the Supreme Court than in the Appeals Court
Kendall Coffey joined i24News with David Shuster to discuss the latest challenge to the President’s immigration ban. For more information about Mr. Coffey, visit his attorney profile on Super Lawyers.
David Shuster: Thanks for joining us. The judges who put a stop to the travel ban, they cited some of the public comments that President Trump has made. How far can the court go in taking those public comments into consideration?
Kendall Coffey: Well, to a significant extent that seems to be what the challengers to this current ban are relying on. You’d have to look at the order itself within the four corners, and ask, “Does it say anything about anti- religious discrimination, or anything other than developing a system for improving national security?” It looks facially valid and neutral. But what the courts are looking at much more carefully than what you’ve seen perhaps in times past, is what was the actual intent of the decision makers? So, comments to the press, comments by even Rudy Giuliani are getting much more attention than what you might normally see, and it recalls from my friend Fred Menachem, who would always say, “If you lose badly in the court of public opinion, its hard to win anywhere else in government, and sometimes that includes in the courts.”
DS: Does that continue, though? At a certain point if this gets kicked up to the Supreme Court, you’d think that they might take a little more high-minded look at the law than looking at public statements that the President or his press secretary have been making?
KC: Well I think the Supreme Court might take a different view, because their concerned about the history of this country, and what is the long-term impact of rulings like this on the executive power and the President’s prerogative to protect national security. Like this executive order or not, federal courts don’t expect to have trials on whether something that the President does is a good idea or could have done better. So the issue is discrimination, it looks like the fourth circuit is seriously considering that this is a discriminatory executive order, we’ll see, but whatever happens with the circuits court, the mid-level appellate courts, looks like its going to the supreme court and Trump might do better there.