Block on Trump travel ban upheld by 4th Circuit

Jane Richards
May 26, 2017

Some of the 13 judges on the appeals court that heard arguments earlier this month seemed skeptical of the administration's argument.

"Wynn agreed with his colleagues in the majority that the Court should not "blindly defer" to executive action, all in the name of the Constitution's separation of powers". That would be more than a year after Trump rolled out the first travel ban.

Trump's position was strengthened in April when the Senate confirmed his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. That, the judge suggests, indicates "bad faith", and Gregory notes that in a 2015 case Justice Anthony Kennedy indicated that courts may look beyond a "facially legitimate" exercise of the president's immigration authority to detect an impermissible motive.

CORNISH: Joel, can you remind us a little bit of the background here, how this current ban was changed to try and appeal to the court.

"We won", tweeted the ACLU and Jadwat.

The White House is fighting that ruling in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, which heard the case on May 15.

The Supreme Court nearly certainly would step into the case if asked.

"The risk of these harms is particularly acute here, where from the highest elected office in the nation has come an executive order steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group", the panel said. That was issued by a lower court in Maryland. "Rather then wait for yet another court to rule against it, Congress can and must take action that will end this discriminatory and unsafe policy once and for all". These statements supported the court's conclusion that the second executive order-as well as the original order issued January 27-were constructed as an attempt to make good on campaign promises to implement "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States", as outlined in Trump's "Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration".

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. Trump reiterates that the measure is necessary to prevent possible terrorist attacks and protect national security, but those opposing the ban and previous decisions against it, have taken into account the statements made by Trump against Muslims when he was a presidential candidate.

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Gregory also noted in the majority opinion that there was a limit to the president's power to restrict people from entering the United States.

Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote the majority opinion, upholding the district court's temporary nationwide hold on enforcing the ban.

The ruling had a partisan tinge.

During oral arguments this month, numerous 4th Circuit judges questioned the government's lawyer about the link between USA security and the barring of citizens from the six countries identified by the administration. "Nor is there any trace of discriminatory animus", the dissenting judges wrote.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions swiftly said the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit's decision. Although Kennedy wrote only for himself and Justice Samuel Alito, the opinion represented the controlling reasoning for the splintered court.

Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, said it's hard to make a confident prediction on what the Supreme Court will do with the case.

"The campaign statements here are probative of goal because they are closely related in time, attributable to the primary decision maker, and specific and easily connected to the challenged action", read the majority opinion.

Short quotes one of the dissenters, Judge Dennis W. Shedd, in saying that the "real losers" are the millions of individual Americans whose security is threatened daily by those who seek to harm the U.S.

Lower courts have divided on whether to consider Trump's words on the campaign trail.

Other reports by VgToday

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