Gowdy: No one elected judges to ‘second guess’ commander in chief on national security

by WorldTribune Staff, February 12, 2017

Rep. Trey Gowdy, in a blistering rebuke of an appeals court’s decision that blocked President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban, said “there is no right to come to this country for non-citizens.”

Gowdy, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, said “no one familiar with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should be surprised at today’s ruling. The 9th Circuit has a well-earned reputation for being presumptively reversible.

Rep. Trey Gowdy

Meanwhile, a report on Feb. 11 by the Center for Immigration Studies said that, since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven Muslim-majority countries covered by Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism.

Somalia led the list with 20 convicted terrorists, followed by Yemen and Iraq with 19 each, Syria 7, Iran 4, Libya 2 and Sudan 1.

The South Carolina Republican, a former federal prosecutor, continued: “The Court cites Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 695 (2001) for the proposition that even aliens who have committed and been convicted of certain crimes while in the U.S. unlawfully may have due process rights with respect to travel to or from the United States. In addition, the Court ventures curiously into its own role in reviewing a President’s national security conclusions.

“It seems clear to most of us — not on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — there is no right to come to this country for non-citizens of the United States. It also seems clear judges are neither in a position, practically or jurisprudentially, to second guess national security determinations made by the Commander in Chief. There is a reason we elect the Commander in Chief and do not elect federal judges.”

Gowdy concluded: “For those, like Alexander Hamilton, who once or now wondered if the Judicial Branch would be too weak. Wonder no more.”

The Center for Immigration Studies’ director of policy studies, Jessica M. Vaughan, based her report on a 2016 report from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that found 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born.

“These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6),” the report said.

“Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.”