President Trump’s effort to restrict travel from six predominantly Muslim countries suffered another in a string of setbacks Monday when a second federal appeals court said it discriminated based on nationality and exceeded his authority.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, an overwhelmingly liberal court, ruled unanimously that the temporary travel ban should remain on hold — the final judicial blow as attorneys prepare for a likely showdown before the Supreme Court.
“The Immigration and Nationality Act gives the president broad powers to control the entry of aliens, and to take actions to protect the American public. But immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show,” a three-judge panel declared.
“The order does not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality. National security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power.”
The court found that revisions made by the White House did not eliminate the underlying problems of the ban, which targets six majority-Muslim countries: that it discriminates, whether by religion (as other courts have ruled) or nationality, and exceeds the president’s authority. The appeals court, which also ruled against Trump’s first travel ban in February, concluded that his own statements made clear that the revised version contains the same flaw by targeting Muslims.
“The president must make a sufficient finding that the entry of these classes of people would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’” the panel ruled. “Further, the order runs afoul of other provisions … that prohibit nationality-based discrimination and require the president to follow a specific process when setting the annual cap on the admission of refugees.”
At issue is Trump’s proposal to ban most travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and suspend the entire refugee program for 120 days. Justice Department lawyers made several adjustments from the first travel ban to address concerns raised by judges across the country. The revised version allowed current visa and green card holders to continue traveling, removed Iraq from the list of targeted countries and deleted a section that gave preference to Christian minorities in those countries.
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Article Courtesy of USA Today, KBMT-TV Beaumont, and WKYC Channel 3 News Cleveland
Picture Courtesy of Chip Somodevilla and Getty Images