4th Circuit appeals court rules against Trump's travel ban

16 February, 2018, 06:56 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • A Federal Appeals Court Ruled That Trump's Third Travel Ban Is Likely Unconstitutional

President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on February 9.

In a 9-4 ruling, the federal appeals court held that the third version of Trump's travel ban ― which limited visitors from six majority-Muslim countries as well as two other nations ― was likely unconstitutional.

The 9-4 ruling from the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals comes after the Supreme Court agreed to take up a separate challenge to the President's proclamation, issued last September.

"This is a hard argument to make given that the President and his advisors have repeatedly relied on these pre-election statements to explain the President's post-election actions related to the travel ban", the court wrote.

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"President Trump's third illegal attempt to denigrate and discriminate against Muslims through an immigration ban has failed in court yet again", the ACLU, which is representing the plaintiffs in the 4th Circuit appeal, said in a Thursday statement.

In its ruling, the fourth circuit used soaring language to criticize the ban, saying it had a "much broader deleterious effect" than banning certain foreign nationals.

The appeals court called Trump's proclamation an "invisible yet impenetrable" barrier that "denies the possibility of a complete, intact family to tens of thousands of Americans".

En banc 4th Circuit says Trump's latest travel...

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Writing for the majority in Monday's decision, Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory said that judicial second-guessing of the president was a delicate matter but was required in this case.

American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang, who argued the case before the court, said she was not surprised by the ruling. He said the latest restrictions were the product of a global, multiagency review that found the specified countries do not share enough security-related information with the U.S. He said the ban is created to protect the nation from terrorism and other threats. Based on that investigation, it said, the administration made a decision to have the ban cover a slightly different list of countries than in the first two versions.

"Our constitutional system creates a strong presumption of legitimacy for presidential action, and we often defer to the political branches on issues related to immigration and national security", Gregory wrote. As it did in striking down an earlier version of the ban, the 4th Circuit's opinion issued Thursday said the ban violated the Constitution's prohibition on religious discrimination.

The opinion says the travel ban likely violates the establishment clause and points to Trump's "disparaging comments and tweets" as evidence of anti-Muslim bias.

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The latest version blocks travelers from the listed countries to varying degrees, allowing for students from some, while blocking other business travelers and tourists, and allowing for admissions on a case-by-case basis.



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