Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

The Trump Administration Travel Ban Is Headed To The Supreme Court

A U.S. federal appeals court on Thursday dealt a fresh setback to President Donald Trump s controversial travel ban, upholding a lower court s decision to block the measure targeting travelers from six Muslim majority countries.

But that argument, the court said, "is belied by evidence in the record that President Trump issued the first executive order without consulting with the relevant security agencies".

Both cases are likely headed to the U.S. Supreme court, according to legal experts.

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

Gregory also noted in the majority opinion that there was a limit to the president's power to restrict people from entering the United States.

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The new version made it clear the 90-day ban covering those six countries doesn't apply to those who already have valid visas. Trump's administration is fighting that decision in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond issued the ruling Thursday, following arguments May 8.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall argued that the president's directive falls squarely within his duty to secure the nation's borders and that it does not discriminate against Muslims in its language or in its operation.

A federal judge in Hawaii has also halted that provision and the freeze on the USA refugee program.

"This opinion relies on principles that should be exceptionally persuasive to the Supreme Court", said Joshua A. Matz, who filed a brief in support of the challengers, "though, of course, it is possible that the justices will see things differently than the lower court". "A court applying the majority's new rule could thus have free rein to select whichever expression of a candidate's developing ideas best supports its desired conclusion". It would take five votes to stay the decision.

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Many say it has had an impact on the image of the United States with global students (or potential students) all over the world, not just in those countries covered by the ban.

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".

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.

The case pits the president's significant authority over immigration against what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said was a policy that purported to be about national security but was meant to target Muslims. The original version of the presidential policy was similarly blocked earlier this year on grounds that it appeared religiously motivated and likely violated the Constitution's Free Establishment Clause, which protects free religious exercise. The travel order itself makes no mention of religion or Muslims. Justice Department lawyers have argued in court that statements made during a political campaign should not factor into actions taken by an elected official.

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