Getting a bit lost in the announced retirement of Justice Kennedy is the Supreme Court decision to uphold the travel ban 5-4. While upholding the President’s authority to impose a travel ban is good news, it is extremely disturbing that decision wasn’t 9-0.
The law is so clear, that if the President had been a Democrat there won’t have even been a case to decide. An on-line commenter summed up the intent of the dissenting justices:
We came within one vote of having the Supreme Court tell the president that he can’t carry out his authorized duties unless his heart is pure and his motives are wholesome – as judged by those who hate him. – John Harlan
The linked item can’t keep from getting in a few digs into the President but it’s critique of the Ninth Circuit judges and the dissenting Supreme judges is spot on:
The plaintiffs in Trump v. Hawaii would have the Supreme Court invent a principle that the president’s powers are reduced when he says nasty things. That idea is found nowhere in our Constitution or caselaw. If the president has the power to do something under the law, he has that power whether he is a jerk or not, whether he acts for the “right” reasons or the “wrong” ones. If a different president would have had this power under law — something no one disputes — it is ad hoc madness to say that this president does not have that power.
The Federalist: The Four Dissenting Votes In The Travel Ban Ruling Are A Dangerous Sign