Appeals Court Tees Up Trump Travel-Ban Challenge for SCOTUS

A Federal Appeals Court Ruled That Trump's Third Travel Ban Is Likely Unconstitutional

A Virginia-based federal court of appeals on Thursday ruled the latest version of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE's travel ban unconstitutional citing that it unlawfully discriminates against Muslims.

The 9 to 4 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va., took a deep dive into Trump's statements and tweets since he became president and concluded that the third iteration of his proclamation, like the first two, was motivated not by national security concerns but by antipathy toward Muslims.

The decision, from the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond will have no immediate practical impact. The restrictions vary in their details but, for the most part, citizens of the countries are forbidden from emigrating to the United States and many of them are barred from working, studying or vacationing here.

In yet another legal setback, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-4 to rule against the ban, saying it violated the Constitution by discriminating based on race.

President Donald Trump's tweet referring to an apocryphal story about bullets dipped in pigs' blood being used against Muslims resurfaced in a court case challenging his travel ban. Trump has said the policy is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamic terrorists.

The 4th Circuit found that Trump had expressed "what any reasonable observer could view as general anti-Muslim bias".

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The International Refugee Assistance Project, one of the groups challenging the ban, said the policy has had a "devastating impact" on USA families waiting to reunite with their family members and foreign students seeking educational opportunities in the U.S.

Writing for the majority in Monday's decision, Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory said that judicial second-guessing of the president was a delicate matter but was required in this case.

The court upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who issued an injunction barring enforcement of the ban against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have bona fide relationships with people in the U.S. "The Constitution prohibits government actions hostile to religion".

US Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said the 4th Circuit ruling "does not alter the status quo, and we look forward to ultimate resolution of these issues by the Supreme Court".

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Paul Niemeyer said the 4th Circuit's ruling was an attempt to "second-guess US foreign policy, in particular, the president's discretionary decisions on immigration, implicating matters of national security".

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