Justice Department to ask Supreme Court to review blocking Trump's travel ban

Olive Rios
May 26, 2017

"Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute", Chief Judge Roger Gregory said in the 10-3 ruling.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that the Justice Department will seek review of the Fourth Circuit's decision by the US Supreme Court.

Trump's statements "provide direct, specific evidence of what motivated both EO-1 and EO-2", the court said, referring to ther first and second versions of the travel order: "President Trump's desire to exclude Muslims from the United States". "We are confident the President's executive order to protect the country is fully lawful and ultimately will be upheld by the Judiciary". The government can meet the first test, the court reasoned, because the order indicates that it was meant to protect the United States from foreign terrorists.

Critics who have called Trump's revised travel ban "Muslim Ban 2.0", based on his campaign pledge to stop Muslim immigration into the US, celebrated Thursday's ruling.

Trump issued his initial travel ban by executive order in January, but that measure - which banned entry to nationals from seven countries for 90 days and suspended the nation's refugee program for 120 days - was quickly halted by the courts. Trump tweaked the order after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban.

According to the New York Times, the latest judgment stated that Trump's travel ban discriminated on the basis of religion.

A similar ruling against Trump's policy from a Hawaii-based federal judge is still in place and the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals court is reviewing that decision.

The ruling stated, "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 only examples Trump's order cited of immigrants born overseas and convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States include two Iraqis and a Somalian refugee, Gregory wrote.

Omar Jadwat is the director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and argued the case before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The second version removed any references to the Muslim religion to make it constitutional but courts have still fought against the ban.

"Then-candidate Trump's campaign statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States", it added.

The judges did overturn one small part of the injunction - namely, the bit where it specifically applied to one Donald Trump.

The court's decision keeps a Maryland court's order blocking the ban in place. A concurring opinion agreed with Judge Gregory's decision, but noted that it should only be based on comments made after Trump took office.

Three judges dissented from today's ruling: Judges Paul Niemeyer, Dennis Shedd and G. Steven Agee.

The three dissenting judges, all appointed by Republican presidents, said the majority was wrong to look beyond the text of the order.

Niemeyer also warned that it was risky for courts to consider campaign statements in a case like this.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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