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Former national security officials tell Supreme Court: Trump travel ban 'does not appear to reflect sound national security judgment at all'

091917 Lovelace fmr nat sec officials oppose Trump ban pic
Officials from previous Democratic and Republican administrations, including Madeleine Albright and Chuck Hagel, ask the Supreme Court to reject the ban. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

National security officials from former Republican and Democratic administrations are urging the Supreme Court to rule against President Trump's travel ban.

The list of signatories to the brief filed Monday includes prominent former public officials such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and former national security adviser Susan Rice, among many others.

"On some issues, [signatories] disagree among themselves regarding the best approach to protecting the national security and immigration policy of the United States," the brief filed Monday states. "But amici join together here, not to second-guess the president's national security judgment, but to underscore the many ways in which the order under review does not appear to reflect sound national security judgment at all."

The order, which the Supreme Court will take up next month, temporarily blocks foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the U.S. The high court allowed a modified version of the ban to proceed that blocks foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days unless they have certain family ties in the U.S., a move the Trump administration said is needed to ensure national security.

The brief notes that the Trump administration would say the national security officials opposing Trump's travel ban are "trying to second-guess" Trump's judgment, but they counter that they understand how terror threats change and evolve. The officials opposing Trump's ban note that they "have held the highest security clearances and collectively devoted decades to combatting the various terrorist threat the United States faces," and did so as recently as one week before Trump issued the first executive order aiming to implement the travel ban.

"All available evidence suggests that the order was not based on national security judgment at all, but rather, on a deliberate political decision to discriminate against a religious minority," the national security officials wrote to the Supreme Court. "This court should not allow petitioners to shield this order from meaningful judicial review by cloaking discrimination in a thin veil of 'national security.' The record establishes that our nation's security was hardly deliberated, let alone through the appropriate channels, and was never this order's true aim."