Moreover, public opinion has shifted against the ban. A Quinnipiac poll conducted in early January, before details were known, found that Americans supported “suspending immigration from ‘terror prone’ regions” by 48 percent to 42 percent.
But a follow-up poll after the ban was implemented found a 12 point net swing against the idea of a travel ban.
“This didn’t go right the first time: The optics at the airports were bad and constituents flooded their lawmakers with calls,” said Linda Fowler, professor of government at Dartmouth College. “The White House must know it has to get it exactly right this time. When this ban is released, more lawsuits are coming. To lose a second time would be devastating.”
Government lawyers who defended the ban in court the first time made its speed a crucial part of their argument. August Flentje, special counsel to the U.S. attorney general, told judges on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the need to quickly enforce the ban prevented the administration from gathering evidence that citizens from the seven countries, including refugees, pose a serious threat of terrorism, a claim the judges did not buy.
When the court rejected the ban, the White House vowed to immediately and simultaneously appeal the decision and craft a new order, though Trump later acknowledged that delaying the first order might have helped it surmount legal challenges.
“Now if I would’ve done it in a month, everything would have been perfect,” the president said in mid-February. “The problem is we would have wasted a lot of time, and maybe a lot of lives because a lot of bad people would have come into our country.”
But the government didn’t pursue its appeal. And the Pentagon and State Department have fought the White House about which countries should be included in the plan. And weeks have passed without the release of the new order, even though White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last week it was “finalized.”
The next rollout, he said, would be “flawless.”