The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Monday ruled against [opinion, PDF; case materials] the majority of President Donald Trump’s revised executive order limiting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. The ruling affirmed the majority of a district court injunction [JURIST report] that blocked the order from being enforced. The judges affirmed the injunction on statutory grounds, finding the order in violation of federal Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) [text], rather than constitutional grounds. The judges wrote:
We conclude that the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress. In suspending the entry of more than 180 million nationals from six countries, suspending the entry of all refugees, and reducing the cap on the admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, the President did not meet the essential precondition to exercising his delegated authority: The President must make a sufficient finding that the entry of these classes of people would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Further, the Order runs afoul of other provisions of the INA that prohibit nationality-based discrimination and require the President to follow a specific process when setting the annual cap on the admission of refugees.
The appeals court vacated the injunction on portions of the order pertaining to interagency review.
The ruling is expected to be appealed to the US Supreme Court, which has also been asked to review a similar decision [JURIST reports] from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Unlike the Ninth Circuit, the Fourth Circuit rejected the order on constitutional, rather than statutory grounds. Both courts made references to Trump’s own Tweets, in which he has referred to the order as a “travel ban.”