Appeals court rules against Trump travel ban

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.

Government lawyers argued that Trump wrote his revised immigration ban restricting immigrants and refugees from several predominately Muslim countries in a "bona fide" (good faith) effort to protect national security, not based on religious intolerance.

And whether he wants to or not - he can not take back what he repeatedly said on the campaign trail.

In light of this, we find that the reasonable observer would likely conclude that EO-2's primary objective is to exclude persons from the United States on the basis of their religious beliefs. It can not go unchecked when, as here, the president wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation, ‚à "ù Gregory wrote".

Trump is not required to admit people from "countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism until he determines that they can be properly vetted" and don't pose a security threat, Sessions said.

In a separate opinion, Judge Barbara Milano Keenan wrote that Trump needed to show more than "vague uncertainty" about people coming from those countries to deem all 180 million residents as national security risks.

Judges don't usually write opinions personally attacking the integrity of the president of the United States.

But Gregory stressed there should be no bright-line rule governing when it's appropriate to consider an officeholder's campaign statements.

Because of these, said the Court, the ban unconstitutionally violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which "yet stands as an untiring sentinel for the protection of one of our most cherished founding principles-that government shall not establish any religious orthodoxy, or favor or disfavor one religion over another". Trump during the presidential campaign called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". "The administration already has suffered a string of well-deserved defeats in the courts", Becerra said in a written statement. The White House so far has eschewed taking that step during the months-long legal fight over the travel ban.

If the court agrees to hear the case, the appeal wouldn't be heard until fall at the earliest, unless the justices take an extraordinary step and order arguments sooner. That section temporarily paused for 90 days the entry into the United States of refugees and nationals of six unstable and/or terrorism-infested countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) that were designated as such by the Obama Administration.

The U.S. bishops opposed the first travel ban as well as the second.

The ban was announced in March, but never got off the ground because federal courts blocked it just hours before it was set to go into effect.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Trump administration will take a federal appeals court's block of its Muslim travel ban to the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department has not made clear when the administration would make its formal appeal or whether it would wait for the 9th Circuit ruling before appealing. Trump tweaked the order after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reinstate the ban. The high court, now at full strength with the addition of Trump's nominee, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, has divided in the past on immigration issues.

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