Here’s a quick take on the Ninth Circuit’s per curiam decision in Washington v. Trump, the government’s motion for a stay of the temporary restraining order enjoining enforcement of Executive Order 13769, the ban on the entry into the United States of Syrian refugees and all nationals of several majority-Muslim countries. As you probably have read by now, the court denied the motion, which means the TRO stays in place pending the government’s appeal. Continue reading Case of the Day: Washington v. Trump→
In 1977, journalist David Frost asked Richard Nixon about his approval of a plan to use “dirty tricks” (burglaries, wiretaps, etc.) against groups opposed to him. It was clear that the plan was illegal, and in fact it was one of the acts that led to Nixon’s resignation to avoid impeachment. Here was the exchange:
Frost: Would you say that there are certain situations—and the Huston Plan was one of them—where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation, and do something illegal?
Richard Nixon: Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.
Frost: By definition.
Nixon: Exactly, exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president’s decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they’re in an impossible position.