United States appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump's travel ban

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In response, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to continue to defend the ban indicating that the Department of Justice would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

The legality of that executive order - which began in the campaign as a proposed ban on all Muslim entry to the USA, then morphed into a narrower but still arbitrary policy - is now likely to be decided by the Supreme Court.

"President Trump's Muslim ban violates the Constitution, as this decision strongly reaffirms", said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, who argued the case.

On March 6, Trump issued a revised travel ban striking Iraq and excluding existing visa and green card holders.

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Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, said it's hard to make a confident prediction on what the Supreme Court will do with the case. Regardless of its ruling, CNN notes that the order can not be put into effect if one appeals court has barred it from being enacted. The second version came out in March and was immediately blocked as well. Both had halted implementation of the entire executive order. All ten judges in the majority were appointed by Democrats and all three judges in dissent were appointed by Republicans. It said the executive order had a legitimate national security goal, allowing the government to assess the reliability of background information on visa applicants from six countries associated with terrorism.

Now the Trump administration says it will ask the Supreme Court to take up the case. "Then-candidate Trump's campaign statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, we well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States". The appeals court majority did not think the second version was an improvement: "Significantly, in revising the order, the executive branch did not attempt to walk away from its previous discriminatory order". The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in that case May 15.

Even if the appeals court had sided with the Trump administration, the president's order would have remained on hold because of a separate opinion from a federal judge in Hawaii.

Trump's administration argued the 4th Circuit should not look beyond the text of the executive order, which doesn't mention religion.

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It will notably focus on so-called foreign fighters who travel from Europe to train or fight with extremists in Iraq and Syria. But he complained that "23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying. for their defence".

"Surely the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment 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", the ruling read.

The revised version would temporarily suspend the USA refugee program and halt for 90 days the issuance of new visas to travelers from the six countries while the administration reviews its screening process. "The President has never repudiated the statements he made on a Muslim ban". The injunction covered the entire administration, but also Trump as an individual, which the judges say was inappropriate.

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. That ruling went farther than Chuang's order, blocking a section of the travel ban that also suspended refugee admissions for four months. As the court told him, that argument "is no silver bullet". And the majority of the circuit court judges agreed that the travel ban has constitutional problems or appears to have constitutional problems because it discriminates on the basis of religion.

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In response to repeated questions from reporters, Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn said, "We're not going to comment on Jared". The Senate and House Intelligence committees also are investigating, but not with an eye to bringing criminal charges.

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