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Haste makes a mess.

February 8, 2017

Is President Trump being pushed too hard by his base to check off the campaign promise boxes?

The President obviously has a mind of his own, but it is also clear that he is trying very hard to justify the blind faith that people put in him during the campaign by quickly following through on campaign promises.

That’s a good and even honorable thing to do, but maybe it would be nice if his supporters let him know that not everything has to be done in the first two weeks of his term.

The ultimate case in point is the one now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

While noting that there is an inherent risk in commenting on any legal proceeding still in process, when referring specifically to the review by the 9th Circuit of the order issued by the President of the United States suspending travel from seven Middle Eastern countries, there are still some observations that are relevant at this point.

  1. The order, while obviously well-intended, was poorly introduced and implemented as noted by DHS Secretary Kelly, resulting not just in unnecessary inconvenience to in-transit passengers, but creating a public relations quagmire of the administration’s own making.
  2. Despite the efforts of both the Washington judge and the 9th Circuit to make the focus about motive, the issuance of the order is within the constitutional limits granted to any President, a fact now obscured by feverish media claims of religious discrimination and economic harm.
  3. Despite the 97 friend of the court or amicus filings, the states of Washington and Minnesota do not appear to have standing to bring the initial action. Without standing, the amicus filings, which focus on the economic hardship visited upon the companies by the executive order rather than its constitutionality and national security aspects, become invalid. That would seem to be an important point of consideration for the appellate division.
  4. Letting this go to review before the Attorney General of the United States is even confirmed was ill-considered, again bringing the timing of the initial order into question. Given that more than 40 other suits have been filed, it was a given that the Justice Department would be involved early and often.

The audio transcript of the verbal arguments reveals a certain shall we say, lack of focus on the part of both the Court and the opposing counsels regarding the underlying questions of law as opposed to ideology.

Putting all of that and the ultimate judicial finding aside, this should be instructive for the administration.

To get a bit less formal, perhaps the administration should think twice and act once.

It would be a lot easier to do that if the public would back off a little, just a little, before acting like a ringside prizefight audience.

Hopefully, this will be a learning moment for the new administration. Preparation matters.

From → op-ed

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