A federal judge in Virginia has ruled in favor of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Anthony John Trenga ruled on Friday that the president’s revised travel ban is constitutional. However, the ban is not currently active after a federal judge blocked it from going into effect last week.
Here’s what you need to know about Anthony Trenga, the federal judge who ruled in favor of President Donald Trump.
1. He Was Appointed by President George W. Bush
Anthony Trenga is an appointee of President George W. Bush.
President Bush nominated Trenga to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on July 17th, 2008, and he was confirmed two months later, on September 26th, 2008. At the time of his nomination, Trenga was working as a lawyer.
During Trenga’s confirmation hearing, Senator John Warner praised Trenga and his career.
“This gentleman that I have the privilege of introducing, Anthony Trenga, is a lawyer’s lawyer,” Warner said. “He has tried and proven his skills. He has the highest ratings of our State Bar Association and of the American Bar Association. His career is what every young lawyer I think dreams about when they finally make their way through law school and pass the Bar.”
Both of the federal judges who ruled against President Donald Trump’s travel ban last week were appointed by Barack Obama.
2. He Has Donated Money Mostly to Democrats
Although Anthony Trenga was appointed by a Republican president, he has donated money mainly to Democratic candidates.
That includes John Kerry, the political opponent of the president who would later nominate Trenga; according to The Washington Post, Trenga donated $250 to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry. He also donated to the Senate campaign of Mark Warner.
During Trenga’s confirmation hearing, Democratic Senator Jim Webb praised him.
“His nomination was, as I said, the result of a very rigorous process that Senator Warner and I jointly participated in,” Webb said. “I am very proud to be supporting him, along with Senator Warner.”
Trenga also donated $2,350 to the gubernatorial campaign of Tim Kaine, who was later selected as Hillary Clinton’s running mate during the 2016 election.
“I always thought he was very balanced in his views,” Marianna Dyson, the chairman of Trenga’s former law firm, told The Washington Post.
3. He Ruled That a Man Could Challenge His Place on the No-Fly List
One notable previous case of Anthony Trenga’s came in 2014, when he ruled that a Virginia man could challenge his place on the no-fly list.
This came as the federal government argued that the case should be dismissed. Trenga said that “the No Fly List implicates some of our basic freedoms and liberties as well as the question of whether we will embrace those basic freedoms when it is most difficult,” according to the USA Today.
He later rejected the government’s argument that the case should be dismissed because there would be no way to proceed with it without forcing the government to reveal state secrets, according to The Detroit News.
4. He Is Married & Has Two Children
Anthony John Trenga is married, and he has two children.
According to Trenga’s confirmation hearing, he has been married to his wife, Rita, for 34 years.
John and Rita have two children: a daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, Anthony.
Anthony Trenga has a sister, Marilyn McClain, and a brother, Larry Trenga. They were both present during Trenga’s Senate confirmation hearing.
5. He Says the President Has the Authority to Implement the Travel Ban
In his 32-page opinion, Anthony Trenga said that President Trump was exercising his constitutional authority when he implemented his temporary suspension of immigration from six Muslim-majority countries.
In particular, Trenga made note of the changes made between the first and second order.
“[T]he substantive revisions reflected in EO-2 have reduced the probative value of the President’s statements to the point that it is no longer likely that Plaintiffs can succeed on their claim that the predominate purpose of EO-2 is to discriminate against Muslims based on their religion and that EO-2 is a pretext or a sham for that purpose,” he wrote, according to BuzzFeed News.
This is in contrast to the opinion of Derrick Watson, who last week argued that the second travel ban was not significantly different from the first one and that both are unconstitutional.