Mr Toad and Refugees
In a measured “Per Curiam” Order, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has denied President Donald Trump’s motion for a stay of the Temporary Restraining Order staying the enforcement of the Executive Order prohibiting for 90 days the entry to the USA of citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and suspending for 120 days the US Refugee Admissions Program.
Very helpfully, the New York Times has made the full text of the 29 page decision available to its readers here: Ninth Circuit’s Decision on Trump’s Travel Ban It is a very carefully written decision and the reaction one gets is that the principles of the judicial review of administrative action, a concept the United States inherited from England, are alive and well in the Federal Courts of the USA.
The New York Times report is here: “Court Refuses to Reinstate Travel Ban, Dealing Trump Another Legal Loss“.
The Daily Telegraph reports the decision as comprehensively as does the New York Times: “Appellate court ruling on Donald Trump’s travel ban: What does it mean and what did the court consider?”
Needless to say, Mr Toad has already responded on Twitter: “SEE YOU IN COURT THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE“. He does not say which Court. There are 3 possible options: (1) go back to the District Court, (2) apply for an en banc review by all the Judges of the 9th Circuit (3) apply to the Supreme Court.
The District Court may be the sensible option. An en banc review of the TRO decision is unlikely to succeed. There are also problems with a further appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is presently one Justice short and if it splits evenly the rule is that the Court of Appeals ruling stands.
The Daily Telegraph report adds this which was not in the New York Times:-
“Rory Little, a former Supreme Court clerk who teaches at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, doesn’t think that’s such a good idea [appealing to the Supreme Court]. In addition to seeking to overturn a reasoned decision, he said, Mr Trump would be facing Chief Justice John Roberts, who just wrote an annual report in which he raved about his District Court judges. The president repeatedly insulted the Seattle judge who ruled against him, in addition to the appeals judges who followed suit. “I think Kennedy and Roberts are seething about the president insulting their judges,” Mr Little said. “If they go to the US Supreme Court, they risk getting a serious adverse ruling.”
Wikipedia reports that Mr Trump has been involved in some 3,500 court disputes which is an impressive number, but, of course, he has not had the benefit of having held previous public office where his decisions might have been subject to judicial review.
Mr Toad and the Wicked Witch of Westminster
No doubt, during their next meeting or phone call, Mr Toad and the Wicked Witch of Westminster can have a collective moan about Judges who seek to right wrongs.
She has had problems with refugees and judicial review too. While she was Home Secretary Teresa May was frequently unhappy with judicial review of her decisions.
That may well be why she is trying as hard as she can to exclude the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and, if possible, the European Court of Human Rights which enable the UK Courts to enforce Convention Rights.
Mrs May has ongoing problems with the refugee situation- particularly that relating to Syria. The Guardian has this: “High court to hear legal challenge over end of Dubs scheme in May – Challenge against Amber Rudd’s decision to cap resettlement of lone child refugees in the UK being brought by Help Refugees“.
The same newspaper has this: “Archbishop and Tory MPs criticise closure of child refugee scheme – Pressure grows on PM and home secretary over closure of scheme to bring child refugees to UK after only 350 arrivals”
Mrs May’s successor as Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, is a trustee of the Snowdon Trust – which helps disabled children. But apparently she won’t help traumatised refugee children across the Channel. But if Mrs May, herself a vicar’s daughter, will not heed the Archbishop of Canterbury when he tells her that “Jesus commands us to care for the most vulnerable”, then one has to look elsewhere.
And the Guardian also this: “Calais child asylum seekers launch legal action against UK government – Thirty-six teenagers accuse home secretary of reneging on promise to bring vulnerable unaccompanied refugee children to Britain”
The last article includes this:-
The judicial review focuses on the specific circumstances of one 14-year-old boy from Afghanistan as well as on the broader issues affecting all of the children. The boy’s father helped Nato troops and was targeted by the Taliban as a result. The boy was shot in the neck by the Taliban when they came to the family home searching for his father. He was lucky to survive and fled his home country and travelled through eight countries to reach France. Along the way he was buried alive while travelling in a car attacked by Iranian military, almost starved to death when he spent four days and nights in a Bulgarian forest, was physically and sexually exploited by people traffickers and was shot with rubber bullets and teargas while in the Calais camp. His wrist was broken there when he was beaten by a French police officer wielding a baton. He tried to kill himself on four occasions while in Calais.
His legal team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors wrote to the Home Office on 2 November and 5 December to raise concerns about the boy’s condition but neither letter received a response. While social workers have assessed him to be suffering from suicidal ideation and depression, and an independent psychiatrist assessed him to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and to be a “traumatised and vulnerable boy” who needs treatment, a Home Office social worker who assessed him said there was no evidence that he had any particular emotional or psychological needs.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
It is to be hoped that Her Majesty’s Judges will do something.