Hillary Clinton's Travel Ban Response Is Epic

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Trump administration's ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, and Hillary Clinton's response to the travel ban ruling will almost certainly drive President Trump up the walls.

"3-0," Clinton tweeted. This could have been a reference to the fact that Thursday's ruling was the third straight defeat that Trump and his Muslim ban have suffered in court. Clinton also may have been noting that all three judges on the 9th Circuit's panel ruled against the ban. Or, she could have been referring to both of those facts.

Trump signed the executive order implementing the ban in January, but it hadn't even been in effect for an entire weekend before a federal judge, in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, issued an emergency stay against aspects of the policy. Days later, in a separate lawsuit, U.S. District Judge James Robart issued a nationwide restraining order against the executive order. Then, on Thursday, the Ninth Circuit upheld Robart's decision.

The president, who pledged during his campaign that his administration would "win so much, you're going to get tired of winning," reacted to his third consecutive loss with an all-caps tweet, promising that he will "SEE YOU IN COURT" and alleging that "THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!" By "you," Trump was presumably referring to the attorneys general from Washington and Minnesota, who filed the lawsuit in question.

This wasn't the first time Clinton waded into the debate over Trump's travel ban. Shortly after the executive order was implemented, spontaneous protests broke out across the country opposing it, and Clinton voiced solidarity with those protesters.

"This is not who we are," she tweeted. Clinton also credited the protesters with "defending our values & our Constitution."

To be clear, the Ninth Circuit's ruling isn't necessarily permanent, because the courts still need to rule on the broader question of whether Trump's executive order is constitutional. That decision is a ways away. What these three rulings have done so far is temporarily suspend implementation of the policy while the larger question of its constitutionality makes its way through the court system. It's entirely possible that the courts will ultimately side with the Trump administration on this question, and lift the temporary ban on policy.

That said, the language of Ninth Circuit's ruling sure makes it seem as if the judges who ruled on the case do not think Trump's order will pass constitutional muster. They wrote that the administration "has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of an appeal," and that the government's legal arguments run "contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy."

That said, this isn't over. The Trump administration will almost certainly appeal the Ninth Circuit's ruling to the Supreme Court, which could uphold it, overturn it, deadlock 4-to-4, or refuse to hear the case entirely; the latter two decisions would both result in the lower court's ruling standing. And then, after all of this, the courts still have to consider the broader merits of the law. Nevertheless, Thursday was a bad day for the travel ban, and Clinton seemed more than happy to celebrate that fact.