Aziz Huq in Politico: Has the Supreme Court Already Decided the Wall Case?

Has the Supreme Court Already Decided the Wall Case?

Another recent case mirrors the litigation challenges to the wall—and Trump won it.

We’ll “see you in court.” So said California Governor Gavin Newsom hours after President Donald Trump signed a proclamation of emergency to redirect funds to a southern border wall without the consent of Congress. California, along with 15 other states, filed that suit on Monday. The advocacy group Public Citizen didn’t even wait until close-of-business on Friday to sue. The ACLU lags not far behind.

But what if the script and the endings for these lawsuits have already been written? What if following that script means these suits challenging the emergency as beyond the president’s fiscal powers will do nothing to enlarge Congress’ control over the federal purse? What if instead it has the main effect of giving Trump an electoral boost in 2020?

For there is another recent case that tracks, issue-for-issue and beat-for-beat, the filed and impending litigation challenges to the wall—and Trump won it.

That earlier case is the challenge to Trump’s travel ban. Like the wall, the travel ban fulfilled a 2016 campaign promise. Like the wall, the ban on entry by citizens from Muslim-majority nations was challenged within days. If the legal challenges to the wall anticipated in Trump’s Friday Rose Garden speech arrived quicker, it simply shows that all concerned have settled comfortably into a predictable dance of provocation and resistance. The travel ban litigation ended in a 5-4 decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the policy mere months before Americans returned to the polls in 2018.

The parallels between the travel ban and the wall cases are too precise and too plural to be ignored. Even if you think the court’s endorsement of the travel ban wrong—as I have argued—it would be a grave error to ignore its predictive quality.

Read more at Politico Magazine

Constitutional democracy Immigration President Trump The judiciary