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White House: Trump 'Muslim ban' has no legality

Posted at 8:47 PM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 22:47:54-05

The White House says Donald Trump's comment about banning Muslims 'disqualifies' him from the presidency, as the stance does not line up with the Constitution.

Trump read part of his statement aloud Monday at a campaign event.

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," said Trump.

The inflammatory comments are catching national headlines, going along with the old adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity."

"There's no one he wasn't willing to demonize or insult in some way," said Seth Masket, Political Science Chair at the University of Denver. 

Masket said there is no legal basis for the ban, even if Trump did become president. 

"Congress would have to approve it, for one thing, and that's certainly far from a done deal," said Masket. "Then the Supreme Court would evaluate that pretty quickly and would almost certainly find that to be unconstitutional. But there are so many steps you would have to go through to even get to that, it's hard to imagine anything like this becoming close to law."

When asked on a morning network talk show Tuesday, Trump defended his stance, saying, "We're at war." His comments come as the country heals from the ISIS-inspired mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

"There's a certain percentage of Americans who find they like his message, maybe they don't like everything he's saying, but they consider immigration to be a serious problem or they consider Muslims to be a serious problem," said Masket. 

A new CNN/WMUR poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center says 32% of potential New Hampshire Republicans would support Trump, meaning he has almost doubled his lead since September.

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