President Trump's tweets appear to be giving ammunition to opponents of his travel ban litigation speeding toward the Supreme Court.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals referenced Trump's newest tweets on the travel ban in its ruling against Trump on Monday, and attorneys for Hawaii used the tweets in its argument against the ban filed with the Supreme Court Monday.
Trump's second travel ban order seeks to block nationals from six Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — for 90 days. The 9th Circuit's opinion on Monday noted that the order "does not provide a rationale explaining why permitting entry of nationals from the six designated countries under current protocols would be detrimental to the interests of the United States."
The West Coast Circuit included a footnote noting Trump recently "confirmed" in a tweet his assessment that it is the countries at issue that are inherently dangerous and not the 180 million individuals who fall under the travel ban.
"That's right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people!" Trump said this month in the tweet cited by the 9th Circuit.
Attorneys for the state of Hawaii separately deployed Trump's newest tweets on the ban in its argument responding to the Trump administration's petitioning of the Supreme Court. Specifically, the attorneys for Hawaii noted Trump tweeting, "The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C. [Supreme Court]."
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that the president's tweets should not matter.
"Cases should be decided on the rule of law," Spicer said during his press briefing Monday.
Legal experts of all stripes said this month that Trump's tweets regarding the litigation could change the Supreme Court's calculus in reviewing the ban. Whether or when the Supreme Court will take up the travel ban litigation remains a guessing game, but no more arguments are scheduled for the current term.