An editorial and a letter to the editor, which both supported the 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court upholding the Trump administration’s travel ban, don’t even rise to the level of being specious (“A narrow, important ruling,” “‘Muslim ban’ might not go far enough,” July 6). The letter asserts that the view expressed by the representative of pirates in 1786 is the same as that of all Muslims today. And the editorial argues that the narrow majority of the court was correct in saying the president could ban Muslims because “the commander-in-chief is responsible for protecting U.S. borders.”
First of all, there is no serious scholar of international relations, terrorism or national security who thinks banning Muslims will enhance U.S. security. Second, the president, along with a host of other officials and military officers, takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and not to protect every American from every threat. More people in this country die every day from opioid overdoses than have been killed by international terrorists since 9/11, so what is the president doing about that? Third, is presidential power to be wielded on the basis of whatever whim or electoral strategy dictates from one day to the next without restraint?
Here’s a little thought experiment for you. Take the Supreme Court’s majority opinion and every time the word Muslim appears, replace it with “Jew.” Now tell me you still support no limits on the power of the commander-in-chief if he offers an obviously false excuse for exercising it.