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New @RealDonaldTrump Travel Ban Tweets May Have Killed Ban’s Chances At Supreme Court, Experts Say

Just three days after the Donald Trump administration asked the United States Supreme Court to make an immediate decision on reinstating Trump’s ban on entry into the U.S. by travelers from six Muslim countries, Trump himself may have torpedoed his own case with a brash series of Monday morning statements posted to his @RealDonaldTrump Twitter account, according to legal experts who have analyzed the case — and the Trump statements.

The executive order issued by Trump bars people attempting to travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen from entering the country. Federal courts quickly rejected the executive order — which in its initial version also included Iraq on the list of affected countries — ruling that it unlawfully discriminated against a particular religious group, namely Muslims.

On March 6, Trump issued a new executive order which the administration said was more carefully worded and would pass legal muster. Administration officials also insisted that the order was not a “travel ban,” but instead a 90-day “pause” in admitting travelers from the six countries, believing that the word “ban” supported the argument that the order was discriminatory.

“It’s not a travel ban,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. “When we use words like travel ban, that misrepresents what it is.”

Donald Trump, Twitter, Travel Ban, muslim ban, london terror attack, @RealDonaldTrump, White House
Trump’s travel ban has drawn worldwide protests, including in the United Kingdom. (Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Nonetheless, a federal court again rejected the ban. The lower courts have cited Trump’s own statements, primarily on the campaign trail last year, that the order should be seen as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” to reject the ban. One federal court cited a statement by Trump that the second version of the ban was “watered down” as evidence that the new order was also discriminatory — but was simply worded differently to mask its unlawful intent.

However, on Monday, Trump’s statements undercut his own administration’s contention that the executive order is not a “travel ban,” as Trump himself insisted on using that phrase. Trump issued the statements on his Twitter account about Saturday’s deadly terrorist attack in London, England, that killed seven and injured 48, issuing his first statement a short time after news of the attack broke on June 3.

On Monday morning, Trump continued to press the “travel ban” issue in a new series of Twitter postings, unambiguously declaring his executive order a “travel ban.” Trump also repeated his assertion that the second order is a “watered down” version of the first.

“The courts have ruled, and the courts said this abused the executive powers. His lawyers tried to justify it by saying it wasn’t a travel ban, that it was just extreme vetting,” Ben Cardin, a Democratic Senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told Reuters. “The president’s made that very clear. It is a travel ban.”

Trump also accused the courts of making “political” decisions, presumably regarding his executive order on travel from the six countries.

“The tweets really undermine the factual narrative that the president’s lawyers have been trying to put forth, which is that regardless of what the president has actually said in the past, the second ban is kosher if you look at it entirely on its own terms,” American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Omar Jadwat told the Washington Post on Monday.

Donald Trump, Twitter, Travel Ban, muslim ban, london terror attack, @RealDonaldTrump, White House
Trump’s latest travel ban statements came after a terror attack in London, England, on Saturday. (Image By Matt Dunham/AP Images)

“The President’s tweets may help encourage his base, but they can’t help him in court,” Case Western Reserve University Law School professor Jonathan Adler said in a Reuters interview.

But even though Trump has now stated clearly that his executive order is indeed a “travel ban,” the Supreme Court could still rule that such a ban does not discriminate against Muslims, at least based on the Monday statements in which Trump doesn’t mention a particular religion to be targeted by the ban.

[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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