Federal Court Upholds Block On Trump Administration Travel Ban
RFE/RL May 25, 2017
A U.S. federal appeals court has handed the Trump administration another setback, ruling to continue the block on the revised travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.
In a 10-3 decision, judges in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, upheld on May 25 a lower court's decision to prevent the measure from taking effect.
The measure would have set a 90-day ban on travelers from Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen from entering the United States. It also suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.
In its ruling, the court said it was "unconvinced" that the intent of the measure had "more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the president's promised Muslim ban."
"Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the president wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation," Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory wrote.
In the past, the Trump administration said it would take the case to the Supreme Court if it lost in the appeals process.
The administration has said the temporary travel ban is necessary to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had often spoke of wanting a total ban on Muslims entering the country.
A key issue now is whether those comments from the campaign can be used to show that the ban was unconstitutionally targeting Muslims because of their religion.
The revised ban was narrowed in scope from Trump's order issued in January that blocked travelers from seven-majority Muslim countries, including Iraq, as well as all refugees. The new order also eliminated references to religion.
Critics say the changes were not sufficient to eliminate the legal problems associated with the order.
Appeals courts in other districts are still considering the case as well. Further rulings against the travel ban could indicate a tougher challenge for the administration should it take the case to the Supreme Court.
With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|