|Congressman Justin Amash speaks during a town hall meeting at |
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017.
(Mike Clark | MLive.com)
A West Michigan congressman with a history of questioning President Donald Trump used strong language in tweets criticizing Trump's response to an unfavorable court ruling this weekend.
Examples of the 'independent voice' that U.S. Rep. Justin Amash plans to continue using to question the president-elect and his administration.
The court decisions, which came just two weeks into Trump's presidency, struck down a controversial travel ban that has spawned protests across the country since Trump signed the executive order on Jan. 27.
U.S. District Judge James Robart on Friday, Feb. 3, issued a temporary restraining order that prevents enforcement of the president's order banning refugee arrivals for 120 days, visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and Syrian citizens indefinitely. A U.S. appeals court later denied the federal government's request for an immediate stay of the ruling.
The rulings prompted a storm of tweets from Trump's account, which included one calling Robart a "so-called judge" and another postulating that "many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country" as a result of the ban being lifted.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, added his two cents on Super Bowl Sunday in two tweets on the issue.
Amash said Trump should not have attacked Robart's legitimacy and that his "constant fear mongering" is both "irresponsible and dangerous."
If @POTUS doesn't like a court decision, he should appeal. Stick to legal disagreements and stop attacking the legitimacy of the judiciary. https://t.co/sHzk81FW1l— Justin Amash (@justinamash) February 5, 2017
Amash, himself the son of a Syrian immigrant, has come out in opposition to the travel ban, calling it "not lawful" and "extreme."
Amash called the ban "unlawful" and "extreme."
The Michigan Republican has a reputation for criticizing those with which he disagrees, among whom are sometimes whoever is in the White House and members of his own political party.
After Trump's election, Amash promised to extend that critical voice past the transition to a new presidential administration.
Though he has found items on which he agrees with President Trump --like the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court -- Amash has openly criticized the travel ban, Trump's executive order on border security and even called attention to the back-and-forth between Trump and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
Amash also crossed party lines to join eight other House Republicans in voting against a budget resolution that included a first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare. Though the congressman has been a long opponent of the sweeping healthcare legislation signed into law by former President Barack Obama, Amash said he could not support the spending plan itself.
Amash initially endorsed Sen. Rand Paul, shifting his support to Sen. Ted Cruz when Paul dropped out of the race shortly after the Iowa Caucus.
Unlike many of his fellow Republicans, who endorsed Trump when it became clear he would be the GOP nominee, Amash never formally gave the candidate his support. In fact, he said he would neither vote for Trump nor Clinton.
Amash, first elected to his seat in 2010, easily won reelection to a fourth term in Congress last November.
Michigan's 3rd congressional district, which he represents, stretches from Albion to Sand Lake and includes all or portions of Barry, Calhoun, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties.
Trump has vowed that he will reinstate the travel ban lifted by the federal judge's ruling on Friday. The restrictions on immigration are needed, he says, to protect the United States from Islamist militants.
The executive order will remain in limbo -- potentially opening a window for those impacted by the ban to travel to the United States -- until the federal appeals court rules on the government's request for an emergency stay of Robart's ruling.