San Francisco's 9th Circuit Appeals Court Rules Against Trump 'Revised' Travel Ban
In perhaps the least-surprising news of the day, a second federal appeals court on Monday ruled against President Trump’s revised travel ban. The decision, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, followed a string of recent rulings rejecting the administration’s efforts to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries.
The new order’s 90-day suspension of entry from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen was more limited and subject to case-by-case exceptions. It omitted Iraq, which had been listed in the earlier order, and it removed a complete ban on Syrian refugees. It also deleted explicit references to religion.
As The New York Times reports, the new ruling affirmed a March decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson, of the Federal District Court in Hawaii.
Judge Watson blocked major parts of the revised order, saying they violated the Constitution’s ban on a government establishment of religion.
Judge Watson wrote that the statements of Mr. Trump and his advisers made clear that his executive order amounted to an attempt to disfavor Muslims.
“A reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the executive order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion,” Judge Watson wrote.
The administration has already sought a Supreme Court review of a similar decision issued last month by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va..
And right on the heels of the 9th Circuit;s ruling, Reuters reports that the state of Hawaii on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to grant the Trump administration’s emergency request seeking to revive his plan to temporarily ban travelers from six Muslim-majority nations after it was blocked by lower courts that found it was discriminatory.
Lawyers for Hawaii, which challenged Trump’s ban in court and won a nationwide injunction blocking it, said in court papers his executive order is a “thinly veiled Muslim ban.”
Monday is the deadline for the ban’s challengers to respond to the administration’s request that the order be allowed to go into effect. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents people challenging the ban in a separate Maryland case, is due to file its own response later on Monday.
Hawaii’s court papers mentioned a series of Twitter posts that Trump wrote on June 5, after the administration sought Supreme Court intervention. Trump described the order, which replaced an earlier Jan. 27 order that also was blocked by courts, as a “watered down, politically correct” version of his original plan.
Hawaii’s lawyers said that Trump has made “a series of barely veiled statements linking the orders to his promised Muslim ban.” If he had not done so, the order may not violate the Constitution, the lawyers said.
We are sure the President will have something to ‘tweet’ about this shortly.