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Trump Celebrates Supreme Court Decision That Wasn't Actually a Decision

Trump's celebration of a Supreme Court decision that wasn't really a decision shows again he knows nothing about the American government.

Whenever Donald Trump says something about the functioning of our government, it is invariably wrong. Pundits have suggested two ways to look at that. One, it could be that he is "working the room," spinning each story as he presents it to his fans so that he appears in the most favorable light possible. The second possibility is that we have a man in the White House who simply has no clue of how the American government functions. I actually believe it is a little of both of those.

On Monday morning the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving Trump's "travel ban" on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations. The court will hear arguments in October. Meantime, the justices kept portions of the lower court stay on the ban in place, while allowing other elements of the ban to go into effect pending their ruling.

Trump took to Twitter to announce his satisfaction with the decision to hear the case. And of course he painted it as a victory for his policy.

We don't know for sure whether little Donny was told that SCOTUS agreed to hear the case and he decided that they had issued a unanimous ruling that favored him, or whether one of his flunkies made up the 9-0 number to keep the boss happy. But either way the claim he made is totally ridiculous.

To start with, the decision to hear the case was "per curiam." There's a good chance it was unanimous, but we don't know for sure, since individual justices don't sign per curiam decisions.

The Legal Information Institute defines per curiam as

a decision delivered via an opinion issued in the name of the Court rather than specific judges. Most decisions on the merits by the Supreme Court (and other appellate courts in the U.S.) take the form of one or more opinions signed by individual justices (and joined in by others). E Byven when such signed opinions are unanimous, they are not termed "per curiam." "Per curiam" decisions are given that label by the Court itself and tend to be short. Usually, though not always, they deal with issues the Court views as relatively non-controversial.

Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas issued a separate opinion, agreeing with the decision to take up the case, but arguing that the entire ban should be put in place until the court's ruling is issued.

By joining in the per curiam decision the liberal justices didn't give Trump the victory he proclaimed -- they just said they were willing to listen to his side of the story, and in so doing, to settle the case once and for all. In issuing a separate opinion the three most conservative justices pretty much tipped their hands regarding how they are likely to eventually vote, but there are six other justices, including conservatives Roberts and Kennedy (if he doesn't go through with the rumored retirement) who appear to be ready to be persuaded one way or the other.

Of course Trump's fans mindlessly celebrated his tweet. UFC fighter Nik Lentz, who appears to have been kicked in the head too many times, exemplified the reactions.

As I said at the outset, I can't really say for sure that Trump doesn't understand how the government works, although I think that's a better than even-money possibility. But the responses to his tweet show that plenty of Trump fans truly have no clue. What a shock it will be to them if the court issues what I believe will be a 6-3 ruling against the ban, since their God-Emperor has already told them that he just won, bigly.