The Angle

The Angle: Disastrous Travel Ban Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on whether Trump’s travel ban is kleptocratic, how it undermines the fight against ISIS, and why Christian leaders oppose it.

Protesters rally against the immigration ban issued by President Trump at JFK Airport on Saturday in New York City.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

This is illegal: Mark Joseph Stern pinpoints why Donald Trump’s travel ban singling out Muslims from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya is wholly unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. “The courts should strike down the order as an unlawful effort to discriminate against Muslims by executive diktat,” Stern writes. (Elsewhere in Slate, Daria Roithmayr and Dahlia Lithwick urge Congress to use its constitutionally delegated power to overturn the ban.)

Why those seven countries? “[A] closer look at the specific countries Trump chose to target raises a secondary concern as well,” writes Josh Voorhees. “Did the president intentionally tailor the order to protect his and his family’s financial interests abroad?” Voorhees weighs the evidence on whether Trump designed the order with his business interests in mind.


The travel ban makes it harder to defeat ISIS: Senior military officers understand that the travel ban only hurts America’s cause in the Middle East. Fred Kaplan details why Trump’s inability “to understand the political nature of war or the strategic consequences of politics” could be disastrous.

Fascist glamour: While refugees and green-card holders were detained at airports across the country, Ivanka Trump glammed up for the annual dinner of an organization founded to commemorate Robert E. Lee’s birthday. “Ivanka has a key mitigating effect on her father’s image,” argues Christina Cauterucci. “She is a beautiful, magnetic distraction from an authoritarian regime.”

Some good news: Christian leaders have opposed Trump’s travel ban almost unanimously, and their opposition isn’t surprising to anyone who’s paying attention. Ruth Graham explains why “refugee issues in particular have been a longtime focus of many Christian ministries.”

For fun: The Mountain Goats recorded a song about “the ultimate Jedi,” and now it’s Star Wars canon.

This email is also Star Wars canon,