Block on Trump travel ban upheld by 4th Circuit

He said the president has broad authority to deny entry into the US, but that authority is not absolute and that his order, quote, "speaks with vague words of national security but in context drips with religious intolerance".

Trump's administration argued the 4th Circuit should not look beyond the text of the executive order, which doesn't mention religion. Among the evidence they presented to the court was a comment by former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani made the day after the first travel ban was unveiled. Another case brought against it is now pending in the appeals court for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond issued the ruling Thursday, following arguments May 8.

President Donald Trump's revised travel ban "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination", a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the executive order targeting six Muslim-majority countries. It can not go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation. But the majority of the judges did not agree.

But Gregory stressed there should be no bright-line rule governing when it's appropriate to consider an officeholder's campaign statements.

"Can we look at his college speeches?" "For a past statement to be relevant to the government's objective, there must be a substantial, specific connection between it and the challenged government action".

The Supreme Court nearly certainly would step into the case if asked.

Critics said the changes don't erase the legal problems with the ban.

"These clearly are very risky times and we need every available tool at our disposal to prevent terrorists from entering the United States and committing acts of bloodshed and violence", said Michael Short, a White House spokesman. "Its text doesn't have anything to do with religion", Jeffrey Wall, the acting solicitor general, told the court earlier this month. It also dropped one of the seven countries named in the original order, Iraq, because it would have resulted in the denial of entry to the U.S. of thousands of citizens from the country, destroyed and occupied by USA imperialism, who are on the payroll of the United States. Iraq is not among the six predominantly Muslim countries included in the travel ban, and the Somalian came to the U.S.as a child and was radicalized here as an adult.

"This action was brought by six individuals, all American citizens or lawful permanent residents who have at least one family member seeking entry into the United States from one of the Designated Countries, and three organizations that serve or represent Muslim clients or members", wrote Chief Judge Roger Gregory for the majority.

"The Government has not consistently applied the criteria it claims it used, and the reason seems obvious - and inappropriate", she wrote.

"This Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend the power and duty of the Executive Branch to protect the people of this country from danger, and will seek review of this case in the United States Supreme Court".

The travel ban, signed March 6, was Trump's second stab at an executive order halting travel from certain majority-Muslim countries. He says the court's ruling blocks Trump's "efforts to strengthen this country's national security".

Just hours after the ruling, the Department of Justice announced it would seek a review of the case in the Supreme Court. University of Texas at Austin law professor Steve Vladeck tweeted that even before a case makes it way to the Supreme Court, Trump could ask for a stay on the Thursday ruling - though he also noted "it takes five votes to grant, and requires gov't to show irreparable harm from leaving the #TravelBan on hold".

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    During oral arguments this month, numerous 4th Circuit judges expressed doubts about the viability of the president's order. Vladeck called it, "an enormous victory for the challengers to the travel ban, and a huge loss [for the president]".

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