Last night, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to continue blocking President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration. This is a deliberate attempt to shift control over immigration from the political branches to the judicial branch in order to grant foreigners a constitutionally protected “right” to enter the U.S. And the 9th Circuit’s decision is way off base. Here’s why:

The Supreme Court has previously held that federal courts are prohibited from hearing cases asking them to declare illegal the exercise of a power that the Constitution assigns exclusively to the other branches of government. This rule is referred to as the “Political Question Doctrine.” It preserves the separation of powers by keeping the courts from assuming functions that should be performed by the legislature or the executive. The role of the courts is to interpret and apply the law, not to set the national security agenda, conduct foreign affairs, or craft our immigration policies.

Applying the Political Question Doctrine, the Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the powers to legislate and implement the conditions for admitting aliens into the United States belong, respectively, to Congress and the executive branch. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4, of the United States Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization.” The power to pass laws governing who may enter and remain in the United States is implied in that power.

Read the rest of Matt O’Brien’s op-ed in