Saturday, 24 February, 2018

White House says travel ban is 'fully lawful'

Kenny Thornton | 13 June, 2017, 04:31

June 12 A second USA appeals court on Monday ruled against President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on people entering the United States from six Muslim-majority countries, largely upholding a lower court's decision.

The Ninth Circuit chose to uphold in large part the injunction on the second iteration of the travel ban, according to the ruling.

Under the government's reading of the Mandel precedent, the court said, the president could achieve "almost any unconstitutional aim by cloaking the policy in neutral terms and a national security rationale".

The United States Court Of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion today, dealing a another blow to President Trump's March 6 Executive Order 13780.

President Trump's order, a revised version of an earlier attempt to force through the travel block, has now been stuck in limbo for almost three months. The administration has opposed all such allegations.

It also rejected the government's assertion that Trump's executive order - which was revised after the initial one was struck down by the courts - was not subject to judicial review.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer asserted on Monday that the order was "fully lawful" and said the administration was reviewing the court's decision.

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"The Immigration and Nationality Act. gives the President broad powers to control the entry of aliens, and to take actions to protect the American public". That ruling came in a lawsuit challenging the order brought by the state of Hawaii, which stated the ban would harm its universities and tourism industry.

She said she did not expect the Supreme Court to consider the case before the fall, making it hard for the administration to defend its argument that the travel ban was urgently needed.

At the heart of the Ninth Circuit opinion Monday is the panel's determination that the president had failed to show in his executive order that there was were specific national security justifications for excluding nationals of the six designated counties (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen).

The 4th Circuit, in a 10-3 ruling of the entire court, squarely addressed the contentious constitutional claim at the heart of the case: Was Trump's order meant to discriminate against Muslims in violation of the 1st Amendment? It declined to delve into the larger constitutional issues - such as whether the restrictions violate the Constitution's prohibition on treating certain religions more or less favorably than others.

A Virginia-based appeals court upheld the Maryland ruling.

Trump continued: "People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!". The appeals court, which also ruled against Trump's first travel ban in February, concluded that his own statements made clear that the revised version contains the same flaw by targeting Muslims.

Hawaii became the first of the challengers of the Trump order to file its views on the controversy at the Supreme Court on Monday - the day the Justices had set for filimg the other side's positions on how the court should proceed with the enforcement and review questions.

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