Pence: 'We Don't Appoint Conduct Foreign Policy'

By Susan Jones | February 6, 2017 | 8:25 AM EST

Vice President Mike Pence says judges aren't supposed to "conduct foreign policy or to make decisions about the national security." That's the president's job, he said. (AP File Photo)

( - "So frustrating." That's how Vice President Mike Pence described the Friday's ruling by a federal judge in Washington, who granted a temporary restraining order blocking President Trump's executive order on immigration.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco later refused an administration request to reinstate the temporary restrictions on travel from seven nations prone to terrorism.

On Sunday, Pence told "Fox News Sunday" "We don't appoint judges to our district courts to conduct foreign policy or to make decisions about the national security. Under statutory law and under the Constitution, that authority belongs to the president of the United States.

"And while the (appeals) court did not impose a stay of that order at this point, we're going to move very quickly into the merits of this argument. And as the president said, we are going to win the arguments because we're going to take the steps necessary to protect the country, which the president of the United States has the authority to do."

In his ruling blocking President Trump's executive order on immigration, federal Judge James Robart of Washington State wrote in part:

The court finds that the States have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. The Executive Order adversely affects the States' residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations, and freedom to travel. These harms extend to the States by virtue of their roles as parens patriae (guardians) of the residents living within their borders. In addition, the States themselves are harmed by virtue of the damage that the implementation of the Executive Order has inflicted upon the operations and missions of their public universities and other institutions of higher learning, as well as injury to the States' operations, tax bases, and public funds. These harms are significant and ongoing.

And on that basis, the judge issued a temporary restraining order, "until such time as the court can hear and decide the States' request for a preliminary injunction."

Pence told "Fox News Sunday" that President Trump's executive order temporarily barring immigrants and refugees from seven nations -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan -- is consistent with Trump's campaign promises "to put the safety and security of the American people first.

"And the executive order that he signed suspending travel from countries that have been compromised by terror is consistent with that objective, and's consistent with his powers as president of the United States of America, both under the Constitution and under statutory law. It's quite clear that the president has the ability to determine who has access to this country when it comes to national security.

"So, we believe the judge made -- We believe the judge made the wrong decision, the Boston court made the right decision. We're going to continue to use all legal means at our disposal to stay that order and move forward to take the steps necessary to protect our country."

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