The 9th Circuit Court’s decision was the big story in conservative media today.

Today in Conservative Media: The 9th Circuit Court’s Dangerous Decision

Today in Conservative Media: The 9th Circuit Court’s Dangerous Decision

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Feb. 10 2017 4:57 PM

Today in Conservative Media: The 9th Circuit Court’s Dangerous Decision

Conservative outlets are torn on whether Donald Trump should appeal the court’s decision.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Late Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a nationwide injunction against Donald Trump’s immigration executive order. Conservative media outlets were largely unified in their frustration, deriding the court’s supposedly liberal tendencies, attributing the decision to political motivations rather than legal ones, and expressing grave concern about national security. A statement from National Review’s editors captured the general tone: “The Ninth Circuit’s decision against President Trump’s immigration order is worse than wrong. It is dangerous.”


Breitbart offered one vision of what those dangers might entail, writing that the judgment “would have allowed one of the 9/11 hijackers to sue the government to come to, or stay in, the United States.”  Because that hijacker, Hani Hasan Hanjour held a student visa, the article claims, he “would have due process rights to challenge his exclusion from the United States.”* (As the article acknowledges, Hansour was from Saudi Arabia—a country not included in the ban.) Another Breitbart post offered a similar objection, warning in its headline, “Judges Declare Judges Can Grant Immigration Visas, Even When Elected President Disagrees.”

Other right-wing publications, including National Review suggested that the decision was representative of a larger power grab by the judiciary, an attempt to claim powers that should be held by the executive branch. “The modern judiciary, and the modern Left whose water it carries, holds that no aspect of governance evades supervision by unelected federal judges,” National Review wrote. LifeZette, similarly, wrote, “No federal court should be considering any claims about these executive orders because … they fall squarely within a class of cases which the Supreme Court has said the judicial branch has no business reviewing.”

The president himself responded quickly to the news, tweeting (in all caps) “SEE YOU IN COURT,” a message that the Daily Caller described as “fiery.”

Sean Hannity’s website suggested that Trump would be right to appeal the decision. “While the ruling is being celebrated by those on the left, some legal scholars are baffled by the court’s decision,” it claimed, before citing objections from a handful of legal commentators, including a post from the blog Lawfare that closes with a reference to “the incompetent malevolence with which this order was promulgated.” If Trump does appeal to the Supreme Court, he might have reason for hope: The Daily Caller writes, “The 9th Circuit, which is known for its liberal tendencies, has the second-highest reversal rate of the 13 appellate courts below the Supreme Court.”


Not all conservative commentators were convinced, however. A separate article in the Daily Caller acknowledged, “Applying for a stay could also be a strategically unsound move for the administration.” In National Review, David French took a similar tack, arguing that the administration might do well to avoid taking its case to the Supreme Court. “Victory is far from assured, and a tie in the eight-member Court would uphold the Ninth Circuit’s dreadful decision,” he wrote. LifeZette likewise observed that an appeal might be dangerous, warning, “Justice Anthony Kennedy’s record on the bench suggests he is no lock to side with the conservative bloc on the court.”

Not all voices in the conservative media agreed that the immigration order was worth defending. In a National Review article titled, “The Travel Moratorium: A Hopeless Disaster,” Charles Krauthammer describes the executive order as a “pointless cul-de-sac,” writing, “It was a bad idea to begin with, and its implementation has been even worse.”

Posts about the court’s decisions were widely shared on conservative Facebook pages:

*Correction, Feb. 10, 2017: This post originally misspelled Hani Hasan Hanjour’s last name.