Breaking: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rules Trump Muslim travel ban is unconstitutional


The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, ruled on Thursday in a 9-4 decision that the latest iteration of President Trump’s travel ban is unconstitutional, citing that it unlawfully discriminates against Muslims. Opinion (.pdf).

The Hill reports, Appeals court rules latest Trump travel ban is unconstitutional:

A Virginia-based federal court of appeals on Thursday ruled the latest version of President Trump’s travel ban unconstitutional, citing that it unlawfully discriminates against Muslims.

In a 9-4 decision, a majority of the judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said it examined official statements from Trump and other executive branch officials, along with the proclamation itself, and found it “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam.”

The court is the second federal appeals court to rule against the travel ban.

The most recent iteration of the ban bars people from eight countries — six of which are predominantly Muslim — from coming to the U.S.

The Supreme Court had decided in December that it would allow the latest travel ban to take effect while litigation ran its course [in this case].

It has now run its course. You can rest assured that Confederate Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III will file an appeal back to the U.S. Supreme Court from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

In late December, a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the third iteration of Trump’s travel ban, saying it goes against federal law.

The Supreme Court last month agreed to review the legality of Trump’s travel ban and is expected in April to hear oral argument regarding the order.

The Trump administration has argued the Muslim travel ban is necessary to safeguard national security, but each iteration of the Muslim travel ban has been struck down by the Courts as unconstitutional.

It is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

UPDATE: National Law Journal adds, ‘The Words of the President’ Doom Trump Travel Ban, Fourth Circuit Says:

The Trump administration’s travel ban suffered its latest defeat Thursday in front of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which upheld an injunction blocking enforcement of the restrictions.

The appeals court in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump stayed its decision pending resolution of a related case that is already at the U.S. Supreme Court. That case, Trump v. Hawaii (9th Circuit), will be argued in April.

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Nine of the judges held that the challengers were likely to succeed on their claim the travel ban violates the Constitution’s establishment clause, and the court pointed to President Donald Trump’s public statements—including his tweets—to bolster the decision against the administration.

“Examining official statements from President Trump and other executive branch officials, along with the Proclamation itself, we conclude that the Proclamation is unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam,” Gregory wrote. He added later: “Here the government’s proffered rationale for the Proclamation lies at odds with the statements of the president himself. Plaintiffs here do not just plausibly allege with particularity that the Proclamation’s purpose is driven by anti-Muslim bias, they offer undisputed evidence of such bias: the words of the President.”

Five of the nine judges in the majority also found that the challengers would succeed on their claims that the ban violates provisions in federal immigration law. Dissenting opinions were written by judges Paul Niemeyer, William Traxler Jr. and G. Steven Agee.

Cecillia Wang, the ACLU deputy legal director who argued the case in the Fourth Circuit, said in a statement: “President Trump’s third illegal attempt to denigrate and discriminate against Muslims through an immigration ban has failed in court yet again. It’s no surprise. The Constitution prohibits government actions hostile to a religion.”


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