The judge who issued an injunction against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban came under criticism after a key part of his questioning turned out to be incredibly faulty.
Judge James Robart, a Seattle-based federal jurist, issued the injunction Friday based in part on a lack of reasonable danger to American from individuals who hailed from the seven countries on the temporary ban list.
However, a clip that surfaced of the Friday hearing indicated that Robart was grossly in error about his understanding of the number of terrorism-related arrests involving individuals from those countries.
A portion of the clip showed Judge Robart asking a government attorney, “How many (terrorism-related) arrests have there been of foreign nationals for those seven countries since 9/11?”
When the attorney said that she didn’t have that information, Robart responded: “Let me tell you. The answer to that is none, as best I can tell. So, I mean, you’re here arguing on behalf of someone that says: We have to protect the United States from these individuals coming from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”
Unfortunately, the “best (he) could tell” wasn’t exactly all that factual. As The Associated Press pointed out, several high-profile terrorism arrests have taken place involving refugees from those nations.
In November, a Somali refugee was involved in an attack at Ohio State University in which he ran his car into a group of people and then tried to attack with a knife. Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, an Iraqi refugee living in Texas, pled guilty in October to a plot to blow up Houston-area malls on behalf of the Islamic State group, according to CBS News.
And while the “Bowling Green massacre” comment from Kellyanne Conway got plenty of derision from the mainstream media, there was the very inconvenient fact that she was referring to a real case — two Iraqi refugees arrested in the Kentucky city back in 2011 for Al Qaeda ties. Those arrests were responsible, in part, for a temporary pause in the Iraqi refugee program by the Obama administration.
Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill told The Associated Press that 23 percent of Muslim-Americans charged with extremism-related terrorist offenses since the 9/11 attacks have come from the seven countries on Trump’s temporary ban list.
Given the key part that this seems to have played in Robart’s ruling — which discarded the law for the judge’s own faulty beliefs about the world — this should give plenty of reason for this injunction to be overturned.
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