U.S. appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump's travel ban

Cheryl Sanders
May 26, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump's administration is pledging a Supreme Court showdown over his travel ban after a federal appeals ruled that the ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination". Trump tweaked the order after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban.

"We are confident that the president will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the 9th Circuit". Now the Trump administration says it will ask the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Page Pate, CNN legal analyst and adjunct professor of law at the University of Georgia, said he believed the attempt to revise the executive order "and make it more constitutional apparently has not worked, at least according to this court".

Three judges all appointed by Republican presidents filed three separate dissents, each joining the other.

A central question in the case was whether courts should consider Trump's past statements about wanting to bar Muslims from entering the country as evidence that the policy was primarily motivated by the religion. The injunction covered the entire administration, but also Trump as an individual, which the judges say was inappropriate.

The Maryland case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of organizations as well as people who live in the USA and fear the executive order will prevent them from being reunited with family members from the banned countries. By a vote of 10-3, the appeals court upheld the Maryland judge, although several judges did not join fully in the majority's opinion.


Given the case's high-profile nature, the full appeals court in Richmond heard the arguments - bypassing the usual initial three-judge panel - for the first time in a quarter-century.

"The government has repeatedly asked this court to ignore evidence, circumscribe our own review and blindly defer to executive action, all in the name of the Constitution's separation of powers". "The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the decision of the divided court, which blocks the president's efforts to strengthen this country's national security".

Trump is not required to admit people from "countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism until he determines that they can be properly vetted" and don't pose a security threat, Sessions said. Earlier this month during a White House press briefing Trump's press release calling for a ban on Muslims was the subject of discussion, as it was still on Trump's campaign website.

He wrote that the majority "looks past the face" of the order and instead considers campaign statements.

"We decline to do so, not only because it is the particular province of the judicial branch to say what the law is, but also because we would do a disservice to our constitutional structure were we to let its mere invocation silence the call for meaningful judicial review".

The Muslim ban language was removed one day after oral arguments in the 4th Circuit case. The court has not indicated when it will rule, but the travel ban would not go into effect as long as one nationwide injunction remains in effect.


Immigration concerns are high on the list of anxieties for worldwide travelers entering the United States, as evidenced by the results of a recent American Express GBT/ACTE survey showing that 54 percent of 239 travel managers surveyed said travelers have expressed growing worry about traveling to the United States as changes to visa requirements and immigration policies loom.

During oral arguments this month, numerous 4th Circuit judges questioned the government's lawyer about the link between US security and the barring of citizens from the six countries identified by the administration.

Judge Paul V. Niemeyer suggested that the Supreme Court will not buy into the use of Trump's campaign statements.

Judge Dennis Shedd, meanwhile, said the executive order doesn't fulfill Trump's stated campaign pledge.

The first travel ban issued January 27 was aimed at seven countries and triggered chaos and protests across the country as travelers were stopped from boarding global flights and detained at airports for hours.

This was before Trump's proposed budget was released, which abolished the Brand USA marketing initiative that has since 2009 promoted the U.S.as a travel destination to global travelers.


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