On Thursday, just minutes after a federal appeals court kept the block on Trump's travel ban — which would block refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States — Bernie Sanders commented on the Ninth Circuit ruling. He wrote on Twitter: "Hopefully this ruling against Trump’s immigration ban will restore some of the damage he's done to our nation's reputation around the world."
In a longer statement, Sanders said:
Hopefully, the unanimous court ruling against President Trump’s immigration ban will restore some of the damage he has done to our country’s reputation around the world. It also may teach President Trump a lesson in American history and how our democracy is supposed to work here at home.
A president who respected our traditions of religious freedom would not have resorted to hateful, anti-Islamic rhetoric to justify a ban on travel from seven mostly Muslim countries. A president responsible for keeping our citizens safe would not hand over ideological ammunition to terrorists seeking new recruits to kill Americans. A president who respected the Constitution’s separation of powers would not have insulted a 'so- called judge' he disagreed with or tried to bully a federal appeals court with taunts on Twitter.
This was a good day for our system of checks and balances.
Unlike his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, who has indicated her disapproval of Trump's executive actions but has largely maintained her distance from the office of the president, Sanders has been outspoken in his disapproval of how Trump has spent his first few weeks as commander-in-chief. This week, Sanders described Trump as a "fraud."
As for Trump's reaction, it was slightly less articulate.
Trump has repeatedly made clear his passion for the travel ban, which he describes as being fundamental to the country's safety. (The court disagreed in its ruling, describing the travel ban as having little effect on the likelihood of terror attacks.) Judging by his response, Trump has every intention of fighting the block on his ban, and may even take it all the way to the Supreme Court.
This presents a problem of its own (aside from, you know, the president spending most of his time in a legal battle over blocking immigrants and refugees). There are only eight justices on the Supreme Court at the moment, and the ruling could be a tie. If so, the case bounces back to the Ninth Circuit.
As for Sanders, he has placed himself firmly at odds with the president and his administration when it comes to the travel ban. No matter how the White House handles it next, you can bet Sanders will be watching.