Neal Katyal - Taking on Donald Trump's Travel Ban

September 26, 2017 - Neal Katyal 09/26/2017 Views: 384

Former U.S. acting solicitor general Neal Katyal talks about his role in taking down President Trump's revised travel ban. (5:33)

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Late Sunday night,President Trump surprised us all

and dropped his new travel ban.

And, boy, is this one a banger.

It's got a great hook,a sick beat,

and a couple new key lyricsthat make all the difference.

Take a listen.

REPORTER: The president reconfigured his travel ban

that includes Libya, Syria, Yemen,

Iran, and Somalia

but also adds Chad, North Korea,

and some people from Venezuela.

The difference with this new list is

there's no expiration date and all of these countries

have individually tailored restrictions.

Beautiful. No expiration date,

like Twinkies, honey, or milk.

This, this new ban is great news

for the little Trump trainthat could,

a wonderful updateto a touching story

that teaches us that if youtry again and try and try again

and keep trying, you maybe geta travel ban through.

Of course, the mainstream mediais still focusing

on the banningof Muslim countries,

which means they're missingthe real success story.

Congratulations, Sudan.

You made it off the list.

(cheering and applause)


It always feels goodto get off a list.

I should know. I'm finallyallowed back into the local gym

after being bannedfrom eating yogurt in the pool.

Critics argue that Trump'sfirst two travel bans unfairly

and perhaps unlawfully targetedMuslims.

So Trump took that note andadded a few non-Muslim nations

to the list, like Venezuela.

You see that, liberals?

Trump made the travel banmore inclusive, more diverse.

Everyone's happy!

Probably except Venezuela.

And this new ban will also makeus extra safe from North Korea,

a country that already blocksmost of its citizens

from getting out.

And nowwe're not allowing them in.

So, just like a Ken doll,there is no in and no out.

Trump's revised travel banis expected to launch

a new round of lawsuits

and stall a few casesalready in progress.

Here to tell us moreabout one of those cases

is the lawyer formerly scheduledto argue the travel ban

in front of the Supreme Court.

Opposition, meet Neal Katyal.

-(cheering and applause)-Neal.

Neal, so you've arguedin front of the Supreme Court

-34 times.-Correct.

How does addingthese new non-Muslim countries

to this ban affect this case?

Well, you know,the challenge is...

Actually, you know,I've done these 34 cases.

This challenge is basicallynot hard.

Um, you know,and the reason for it is

that we have this, you know,secret weapon.

And the secret weapon--not to go all Khizr K on you--

is this-- the constitutionof the United States, and...

Wait now.That's a conservative weapon.

-Yeah, in...-(laughter)

It's an American weapon,and, you know,

yes, the president has changedthe travel ban,

and now we're into versionthree point O,

but basically,it's kind of like an iPhone.

You know, they keep gettingreleased every year,

and people are sayingthey're different.

-It's the same thingunder the hood. -(laughter)

Wait. They've been updatingthe iPhones?

-(laughter)-And I know you don't...

You know, you got some issueswith hoods, right?

-They still flip, right?-(laughter)

So, this is the updated...

-This is the updated versionof this travel ban. -Exactly.

I mean, no presidenthas done anything like this.

And here is whatthese cases all are about.

I mean, Donald Trump campaignedon December 7th of 2015.

He gave a speech saying,"Donald J. Trump calls

for a complete and totalshutdown of Muslim immigration."

That's a quote.He likes to speak of himself

in the third person.

Um, he then went on to say,

"I think Islam hates us."

And he did something

that no president's donein our lifetime--

indeed, throughout our history--which is to say, we're going

to take those peoplefrom those countries because of

who they pray for and saythey can't come to this country.

-That is not American.-Well...

(cheers and applause)

I think he's just findingclever, new ways

to interpret the constitution.

-Yeah, very clever.-(laughter) -He's showing how...

-how malleablethat document really is. -Yeah.

He's actually taken...And it's a beautiful document

that's served us so well,

and he's reallyripping it to shreds.

And that... You know...

You know,my parents came here, really,

because of the legacyof the constitution,

and that's why, I think,everyone in this audience has.

And to just take a presidentwho's so cavalier about it,

cavalier about freedomof speech, you know, um,

and freedom of religion is just,I think, reprehensible.

You've been preparing this case.

-The case just got postponed.-Yeah.

Uh, and what is interestingabout Donald Trump to me is,

Donald Trump is an open book,

a book that can be toldin 140 characters or less.


But he's a man who willtweet out what he thinks.

How does that affect somebodylike you who's trying

to use what somebody thinks andwhat somebody does against them?

-Like an evil person?-Bas... bas... -(laughter)

Basically, all I want to do isgive the guy a Twitter account.

Like, give him the phone.

General Kelly,please don't take Twitter away,

because every time he tweets,he tells the truth,

and the truth is, you know,

condemning thingslike this Muslim ban.

-So that only helps you. This isfuel to your fire. -Absolutely.

I call him my co-counsel,

even thoughhe's a defendant in the case.

-I think he's my co-counsel.(laughter)

-(applause and cheering)-I...

Uh, I liketo end my interviews this way.

-Tell me somethingI already know. -(laughter)

The Supreme Court works.

There are five Republicans onthe court and four Democrats,

and they are saying,"We can work together

and come to consensuson a lot of issues."

And, boy,if the Supreme Court can do it,

even with all of theirpartisan divide on the court,

then, sure, I think it pointsthe way for Americans, too.

-Yeah, I already knew that.-(laughter)

Ladies and gentlemen,Neal Katyal.

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