President Donald Trump plans on taking the court case regarding his executive order on immigration “through the system” and, if need be, to the Supreme Court, he said Tuesday.
“It’s very important, it’s very important for the country,” he said during a meeting at the White House. “Regardless of me of whoever succeeds at a later date, we have to have security in our country. We have to have the ability.”
Trump’s executive order barred individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria — from travelling to the United States for 90 days. During that time, the Trump administration said it wants to review its vetting system.
All seven countries were identified by former President Barack Obama’s administration as terror hotspots.
“When you take some place like Syria … and remember, ISIS said ‘we are going to infiltrate the United States and other countries through the migration,'” Trump said. “And then we’re not allowed to be tough on the people coming in? Explain that one. So we’ll see what happens. We have a big court case, we’re well represented, and we’re going to see what happens.”
Asked if the case would make it to the Supreme Court, Trump said it “could.”
“I mean we’ll see,” he said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t have to. It’s common sense. You know, some things are law, and I’m all in favour of that, and some things are common sense. This is common sense.”
Late on Friday, Washington state-based US District Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a nationwide stay on key parts of the order. Trump attacked Robart on Twitter over the weekend as a “so-called judge” and suggested that the public blame both him and the broader court system for any terror attack that took place on US soil.
The Justice Department subsequently filed a defence of the Trump travel ban. Lawyers said the travel moratorium was lawful because of the president’s wide-reaching authority to protect the nation under what it deemed a national security threat.
Judges at the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments from both parties Tuesday following the Justice Department’s filing.
Either party in the case, State of Washington vs. Donald Trump, could appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, which currently has just eight members following Antonin Scalia’s death in February of last year. If the high court were to deadlock, as it did last year regarding an Obama executive order on immigration, then the appellate court’s ruling would stand.
When the travel ban was initially implemented, it was interpreted by the White House to include barring those who are legal permanent residents in the US, known as green-card holders, and caused mass chaos at airports across the country with legal permanent residents being detained. The Department of Homeland Security soon after ordered green-card holders from the countries to be allowed into the US following a series of temporary stays from federal judges.
Watch Trump’s comments below:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.