Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal against Trump's travel ban "disgraceful." He made the comments on Thursday soon after the court's judgement was announced while being interviewed by Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
"What exactly is the court saying here," Tucker asked, "I'm trying to understand what the key, the central objection to the president's executive order is."
"Look, I think this a disgraceful conclusion, " Krauthammer explained, "because what they did is substituted their judgement as to what constitutes a threat to Americans' security for the president's."
Now we were all interested in what they think, but that is irrelevant to the case. The case was does the president have the authority to do it. And if he does, it's his judgement to make. And that's the plain reading of the law. It's the plain reading of the constitution. I think the policy was unwise, but that's irrelevant. I think it is very clearly legal. This is the most left-wing, most overturned court in the country.
So I think for the administration, considering Trump does not like to lose, I think he may very well want to go to the Supreme Court. Which may not be the most tactically wise way to go. But you know, he tweeted out, "see you in court." Well I'm told that the governor of Washington state just tweeted out, "we did go to court, and you lost." Now that is sure to get a rise out of the president, and I suspect out of a matter of pride, he's going to want to go the Supreme Court, where I suspect his chances may be dicey.
So, this is no slam dunk. Even though I think, if we had a full court, if we had a Scalia or if we had the new Justice, he would win, but we're not sure where it goes. As you know, Tucker, if the high court splits four to four, then the ruling of the Ninth Circuit, the one we got tonight, stands, and the president loses.
Tucker Carlson followed up with the observation from many that the case made by the Justice Department lawyers was very weak, and asked "do you think it's possible they didn't make a very good case, and that they didn't make a good case because they don't believe in the case?"
"Well, on the first question,"Krauthammer opined, "I was listening in to the oral arguments and the Trump side, the federal government side, I thought was exceedingly weak."
I don't think they were throwing the game. I don't think this was a guy that went in there deliberately to lose. I think this was a junior guy, I'm told the top two were unable to do it for whatever reason, had to recuse themselves. And remember, I think this is a mistake. A tactical error by the administration. You don't go into decision like this, an executive order like this, where you know you're going to get sued, you know you might get staid, unprepared.
Krauthammer launched into a baseball analogy, saying the lawyers did not purposely sabotage the case in his opinion.
They did it before having an attorney general in place, so they are dependent on the career people, who are not necessarily the top of their class. I don't think this is a guy who was playing the 1919 White Sox, throwing the World Series. I think he was a minor leaguer, you know, who had to bat in the World Series.
Trump's travel ban was roundly criticized even some of its supporters for the botched implementation that forced many targeted persons to be detained overnight at airports, including some green card holders. This inspired enormous protests all across the country, and gave opponents much ammunition against the moratorium on travel from seven terror-stricken countries. The ruling from the Ninth Circuit cited Trump's oft repeated promise on the campaign trail that he would impose a "Muslim ban," something he now rejects.
Trump has vowed that he will fight for the travel ban in court.