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Thursday, September 15, 2016
Ind. Courts - More on "Indiana Ban on Syrian Refugees Draws Mockery From 7th Circuit"
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s bid to hamper efforts to relocate refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria to his state ran into strong resistance today.
In arguments before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher was bombarded with questions — as well as criticism and sarcastic comments — as he defended Pence’s attempt to block nonprofit resettlement agencies that assist Syrians from receiving funds under the federal Refugee Act.
Fisher appeared before the court to challenge a preliminary injunction that cleared the way for the agencies to get the funds.
Fisher rejected the notion that Pence’s action has anything to do with the Muslim faith of many Syrian refugees.
“Oh, yes it does,” Judge Richard A. Posner shot back.
He asked Fisher if Pence had singled out Syrians because of their nationality.
Fisher rejected that notion, contending Pence relied on reports from the FBI that people coming from Syria could include terrorists posing as refugees.
And unlike the situation in other countries, Fisher maintained, “we lack a footprint in Syria” that would allow the United States to gather intelligence on individual refugees.
“Honestly, you are so out of it,” Posner responded.
He reeled off a list of countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe that have produced suspected terrorists.
Posner then asked how the FBI could know everything about terrorists from every nation other than Syria.
The men continued their sparring with Posner occasionally raising his voice and Fisher sometimes interrupting Posner.
The exchanges became so heated that Judge Frank H. Easterbrook told Fisher at one point that it was not a good strategy for a lawyer to talk over a judge.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 15, 2016 10:19 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts