Trump travel ban suffers new court defeat

Posted June 13, 2017

"Immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show", the ruling said.

"Months after thousands of people filled airports opposing Donald Trump's anti-Muslim and un-American travel ban, the Supreme Court could soon put an end to this disgraceful period in our country's history", said Attorney General Becerra.

Hawaii's court papers mentioned a series of Twitter posts that Trump wrote on June 5, after the administration sought Supreme Court intervention.

In refusing to reinstate the travel ban, the Ninth judges said there was no evidence presented by the Trump administration to back the measure and pointed to a government report to support their decision.

The judges cited Trump's latest tweets in the travel ban saga.

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The majority of those judges found that Trump's executive order "drips with religious intolerance" and that "the reasonable observer would likely conclude that EO-2's primary goal is to exclude persons from the United States on the basis of their religious beliefs".

A 13-judge panel of the 4th Circuit extensively considered issues of religious freedom, drawing heavily on Trump's public statements calling for a "Muslim ban".

The Department of Homeland Security report - issued just after Trump's first executive order - concluded that citizenship of any given country "is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity" and that citizens from the countries targeted by Trump's ban are "rarely implicated in US-based terrorism".

Neal Katyal, an attorney representing Hawaii, which sued to stop the ban, told the judges the policy could not be squared with U.S. immigration law, which bars nationality-based discrimination in issuing immigration visas, or with the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on the government favoring or disfavoring any religion.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia last month found the 90-day ban unconstitutional, saying it was "steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group" rather than necessary for national security. "It does not provide any link between an individual's nationality and their propensity to commit terrorism or their inherent dangerousness".

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"In short, the order does not provide a rationale explaining why permitting entry of nationals from the six designated countries under current protocols would be detrimental to the interests of the United States", the ruling said.

Following the recent terrorist attacks in London, Trump had urged strong vetting process for people entering the US.

It also listed some reasons that travelers from those nations might be granted waivers allowing them into the USA despite the policy. "Unfortunately, this injunction prevents the President from fully carrying out his Article II duties and has a chilling effect on security operations overall".

"Judge Richard Paez asked [acting Solicitor General Jeffrey] Wall what separates Trump's executive order from the World War II-era mass imprisonment of Japanese-Americans, which was also initiated by an executive order from President Roosevelt and justified on national security grounds". The new version, created to better withstand legal scrutiny, named six countries instead of seven - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, with Iraq dropped - and spelled out more of a national security rationale. "The president's authority is subject to certain statutory and constitutional restraints".

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