Friday, 24 November, 2017

Trump's Muslim Ban Once Again a Loser in Federal Court

Grace Luna | 14 June, 2017, 07:42

A USA appeals court on Monday left in place a block on President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting citizens from six Muslim majority nations - the latest in a string of judicial blows for the controversial measure.

The state of Hawaii, one of the jurisdictions challenging the ban, said in court papers filed Monday before the Supreme Court that Trump's order had had "staggering" consequences.

The revised ban, which bars travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries, was questioned by judges Michael Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez for lying outside the scope of federal statutes and laws.

Trump's administration on June 1 filed emergency applications with the nine Supreme Court justices seeking to undo two different lower court rulings that blocked his March 6 order barring entry for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days while the USA government implements stricter visa screening.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer asserted on Monday that the order was "fully lawful" and said the administration was reviewing the court's decision.

Trump has said in one of his tweets that the U.S. needs a travel ban for certain risky countries.

While the Fourth Circuit wrote that the ban was in violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution which prohibits government establishment of religion, the Ninth Circuit challenged the ban on the statutory grounds that Trump had acted beyond his authority under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.

Monday's decision from the Ninth Circuit largely affirmed that ruling, reversing only the lower court's injunction against the administration conducting inter-agency reviews of its vetting procedures. A similar court has earlier ruled against the revised executive order on the travel ban.

"In short, the order does not provide a rationale explaining why permitting entry of nationals from the six designated countries under current protocols would be detrimental to the interests of the United States", the panel said. The judges pointed to a June 5 tweet by Trump saying the executive order was aimed at "dangerous countries". The majority noted Trump's campaign pledge to bar Muslims from entering the country. That helped show he was not assessing whether the six countries had ties to terrorism, they said.

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listened at left as President Donald Trump spoke during a Cabinet meeting, today, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

Monday's decision upheld a decision in March by a Hawaii judge that blocked part of the president's order from going into effect nationally.

Critics say the ban is discriminatory and violates the USA constitution by specifically targeting Muslim-majority countries.

The judges, however, did not rule on whether the president's order was an unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims.

In delivering judgment, the panel of three Judges said Trump exceeded the limit of the authority accorded him by Congress by issuing the Executive Order.

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