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Trump travel ban dealt another blow as appeals court rules
16 June 2017, 04:02 | Cynthia Sparks
Judges keep a very close eye on Trump
Since the DOJ initially petitioned for Supreme Court review on June 1, Trump has tweeted about the order, the courts, and his disdain for political correctness, confirming the claims of travel-ban challengers that the executive order is religiously motivated and violates constitutional guarantees to freedom of religion. That was an unconstitutional form of discrimination, the court said in a 10-to-3 ruling.
The 9th Circuit, which heard arguments in Seattle last month in Hawaii's challenge to the ban, found no need to analyze Trump's campaign statements. Under that interpretation, the whole case would become moot before the Supreme Court had a chance to weigh in, leaving the Fourth and Ninth Circuit rulings to stand. President Trump has also tweeted that his administration would start implementing tougher vetting measures on those who want to visit USA, adding that the courts are taking the matter too slow.
The presidential memo, sent on Wednesday afternoon to the attorney general, the secretary of Homeland Security, and director of national intelligence, seeks to extend the viability of one of the travel ban's key pieces: the temporary suspension, for a period of 90 days, of immigration to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The order also suspends the nation's refugee program for 120 days and imposes a new limit on the number of refugees accepted.
But if the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is inclined to stay within the "four corners" of the executive order's text and not broadly consider the motivation behind it, the 9th Circuit shows it still can not be upheld. The justices are considering the administration's request to reinstate its ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries. Richard Hasen, an election law expert and University of California Irvine law professor, noted in an article posted on his Election Law Blog a dissent by Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski at an erlier stage of the travel-ban litigation. The appeals court said Judge Watson had erred in barring the administration from conducting internal reviews of its vetting procedures while the case moved forward.
The 4th U.S. Circuit also has called Trump's national security concerns an after-the-fact justification for a policy that was "rooted in religious animus".
The Supreme Court's new briefing schedule for the combined cases lets the government submit its final brief on June 21.
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