Appeals court deals blow to Trump administration travel ban

"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".

The appeals court was reviewing a March ruling by a Maryland-based federal judge that blocked part of Trump's March 6 executive order barring travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days while the government put in place stricter visa screening.

Trump had said during his campaign that he would ban Muslims from entering the United States, comments which have proven hard to shake off as courts rule that the attempted ban is unconstitutional as it targets a specific religion.

"The evidence in the record, viewed from the standpoint of the reasonable observer, creates a compelling case that (the executive order's) primary goal is religious", the ruling states.

The judges "remain unconvinced" that the travel ban had "more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the President's promised Muslim ban".

While some will celebrate the court's ruling as a victory in the fight for individual civil rights and others will assail it as a defeat for Trump, Shedd said it's shortsighted to ignore its larger implications. Trump tweaked the order after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban.

Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote that changes made to the revised travel ban removing any mention of religion did not fix the fact that the order unfairly and illegally targets Muslims.

After originally calling for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S.as a candidate, Trump signed an executive order in January banning people from seven majority-Muslim nations from coming to the country. "We have no choice".

The Trump campaign has removed the president's call for a "Muslim ban" on its website, but left the statement online until Monday, May 8-the same day the 4th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case.

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Because of that religious animus, the court ruled that Trump's executive order could never "survive any measure of constitutional review". "There is now overwhelming judicial consensus that the president's Muslim ban is not only cruel and unnecessary, but unconstitutional as well".

"These clearly are very unsafe times and we need every available tool at our disposal to prevent terrorists from entering the United States and committing acts of bloodshed and violence", White House spokesman Michael Short said in an email.

Spokesman Michael Short says the administration needs "every available tool at our disposal" to keep terrorists from entering the United States and committing violence.

"President Trump's Muslim ban violates the Constitution, as this decision strongly reaffirms", Jadwat, who argued the case.

That means the court was not directly ruling on the travel ban's constitutionality.

Technically, the Fourth Circuit didn't fully uphold the lower court's order.

In his ruling, Gregory wrote that campaign comments absolutely matter. "Opening the door to the use of campaign statements to inform the text of later executive orders has no rational limits".

"Even if the district court's instinct is correct and no tangible harm directly results from its order enjoining the President from attempting to protect American citizens, the injunction prohibits the government from addressing a serious risk identified by the Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary; therefore, the security of our nation is indisputably lessened as a result of the injunction".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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