The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments [audio, MP3] on Monday regarding President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order. The Trump Administration is appealing a Maryland court ruling in March which placed a temporary ban on Trump’s Executive Order 13780 [text], also known as the “revised travel ban.” The plaintiffs in the case argue [Reuters report] that the executive order violates immigration law and the First Amendment freedom of religion. The government, however, maintains that the immigration executive order was enacted due to national security.
As with Trump’s last travel ban, the new immigration order has been highly controversial. In March, Massachusetts, California [JURIST reports], Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington joined in a lawsuit [JURIST reports] opposing the ban. These lawsuits are premised on what JURIST guest columnist Jonathan Hafetz described as underlying racial discrimination [JURIST report] in the ban. Weeks after the Maryland court ruling, 13 states came out in support of the revised travel ban [JURIST report] by filing a brief with the court stating that the president lawfully acted in the interest of national security.