Hinshaw Partner Joel Bertocchi Discusses the President's Travel Ban
Hinshaw partner Joel Bertocchi, a former assistant U.S. attorney, and former Illinois solicitor general, appeared on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" to discuss next steps in the legal dispute over President Donald Trump's Executive Order that imposes a U.S. travel ban on citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries. Federal district judge James Robart in Washington ordered a temporary halt to the ban, following a lawsuit filed by the Attorneys General of Washington and Minnesota, and the U.S. government immediately sought to have that order overturned in an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. A panel heard oral argument in that appeal on Tuesday.
Bertocchi praised the lawyers for both sides in doing a good job in very difficult circumstances, particularly given that this was a rare instance of telephonic argument. He also noted that the lawyer for the States relied extensively on statements made by Donald Trump during and after the Presidential campaign, and that in the future we may see government lawyers defending executive action having to more frequently address contrary or damaging statements the President has made on Twitter and elsewhere.
Bertocchi said that all three judges on the panel appeared eager to decide the issue on the Constitutional merits. He also suggested that while the Trump Administration has so far been in a "big hurry" to get Judge Robart's order appealed, they might want to slow the process down until a ninth justice has been confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. When asked whether this dispute represented an "epic showdown," he agreed, noting that the lawsuit could herald a new era in which states are increasingly assertive in defending individual rights against federal action.
Also appearing on the show was Carolyn Shapiro, co-director of Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, and also a former Illinois solicitor general.