By Katherine Gregg
PROVIDENCE — “This was a rebuke of President [Donald] Trump’s Muslim ban and a win for our independent judiciary. They made the right call,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed Thursday night after a federal appeals court refused to reinstate Trump’s executive order temporarily barring travelers from seven predominantly Muslin countries — and refugees — from entering the United States.
Trump vowed Thursday to contest the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, tweeting at 6:35 p.m.: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
Reed, D-R.I., acknowledged that “This is not the end of the legal road, the Trump Administration could appeal. But I think the legal and moral case is clear. The President should rescind this executive order and start working toward a more rational policy that will actually make us safer without undermining our principles.”
Here are comments from other Rhode Island delegation members:
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline: “President Trump’s Muslim Ban is not a national security strategy. It does not make our country safer. It jeopardizes the safety of our brave men and women in uniform. It makes it harder for intelligence operatives to collect information to keep America safe.”
“The president is not a king,” said Democrat Cicilline. “Our system of checks and balances ensures the judiciary can intervene when a president oversteps their authority, which President Trump clearly has done.”
“The president should stop listening to Steve Bannon. He should get serious about protecting our country in a way that upholds our values.”
U.S. Rep. James Langevin: “Today’s appeals court ruling supports what I know to be true: that President Trump’s executive action is unconstitutional and unAmerican.
“We have strong vetting processes in place for immigrants coming to America,” the 2nd District Congressman, a Democrat, said. “The most intense checks are given to refugees — many of whom are women and children fleeing unspeakable violence. The president’s claims that visitors from these Muslim majority nations are pouring into our country with malicious intent are factually inaccurate and serve only to fan the flames of intolerance.
“We cannot let fear alter the principles of religious freedom and equality that this nation was built upon, and I applaud the appeals court for this swift and just decision.”
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: “Tonight, the Ninth Circuit denied the Trump administration’s appeal and joined the growing list of authorities questioning the legality of this order and whether it does anything to make us safer. That’s because it doesn’t make us safer. If anything, it gives terrorists a convincing sales pitch to new recruits, that the President’s religious test is evidence that America is a hating, anti-Muslim country.”
“Right now, the President is all-caps on Twitter. I hope he calms down, respects the constitutional judiciary, and considers whether maybe this travel ban wasn’t such a great idea.”
Earlier, Reed posted an uncharacteristically sharp retort on Twitter to Trump’s latest round of criticism of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Responding to McCain’s public comments about the United States’ Jan. 28 raid against al-Qaida militants in central Yemen that killed several women, children and a Navy SEAL, Trump tweeted: “Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media. Only emboldens the enemy! He’s been losing so long he doesn’t know how to win anymore, just look at the mess our country is in — bogged down in conflict all over the place.”
Reed’s retort: “You know what really emboldens the enemy? An uninformed & inexperienced leader who tries to bully Americans while cozying up to [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin.”
On Thursday, the appeals court upheld the ruling last week of U.S. District Judge James Robart that placed Trump’s temporary travel ban on hold.
While federal immigration law gives the president broad authority, lawsuits across the country have alleged that Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order ran afoul of the Constitution in that it was aimed at Muslims.