Trump’s executive order banning travel for several Muslim countries would be legal—if only Hillary Clinton was President. At least, according to the ACLU attorney currently arguing against the ban in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Omar Jadwat, the ACLU attorney, argued that Trump’s campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the country motivated the travel ban, which made it discriminatory.
Fourth Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer challenged that claim, using point blank: “If a different candidate had won the election and then issued this order, I gather you wouldn’t have any problem with that?”
Jadwat dodged the question, and asked for clarification, but Niemeyer was persistent:
“We have a candidate who won the presidency, some candidate other than President Trump won the presidency and then chose to issue this particular order, with whatever counsel he took,” Niemeyer rephrased. “Do I understand that just in that circumstance, the executive order should be honored?”
Jadwat was forced to admit: “Yes, your honor, I think in that case, it could be constitutional.”
Trump’s travel ban has been currently put on hold, after a federal judge in Hawaii blocked it. After the Fourth Circuit makes its ruling, the case will likely go all the way to the Supreme Court for a final decision.