The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Thursday upheld an injunction [opinion, PDF] against President Donald Trump’s travel ban that targets six Muslim-majority countries. The ban, announced in March [CNN report], was the second version of a travel prohibition preventing people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. The first order included Iraq. Both orders ban all refugees for 120 days. The second order clarified that only those attempting to enter without valid visas would be prevented from entering the US while “lawful permanent residents, dual citizens traveling under a passport issued by a non-banned country, asylees, or refugees already admitted to the United States” will be granted access. The court was unconvinced that the travel ban was concerned with national security and is more likely an attempt at creating a “Muslim ban.” The opinion cited several pages of comments Trump made during his campaign and concluded the “statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States.” The court also found that those affected by the ban would suffer “irreparable harm” by being separated from their families and livelihoods. It is likely that the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court [official website]. The travel ban will not be implemented as long as one injunction remains in effect.
When the second executive order concerning the travel ban was announced in March, Massachusetts, California [JURIST reports], Maryland, New York and Oregon joined Washington in the lawsuit [JURIST reports] opposing the ban. Hawaii also filed a separate suit [complaint, PDF] in February arguing that the revised order would cause serious business and constitutional concerns if implemented. Challenges [JURIST op-ed] to the order are not only being brought by states. Early in February the order faced opposition [JURIST report] from former government employees and private individuals. In March a federal court judge in Wisconsin issued a restraining order against the travel ban [JURIST report] for one Syrian asylum seeker and his family. 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.