Immigration Law

En banc 4th Circuit says Trump's latest travel ban is 'tainted with animus toward Islam'

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4th Circuit

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia

A second federal appeals court has ruled against President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban.

The en banc 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam.” Politico, BuzzFeed News, the National Law Journal and the Associated Press have stories on the 9-4 decision. Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote the majority opinion.

The latest travel ban restricts travel to the United States from eight countries, including six Muslim-majority nations. The travel restrictions vary based on the country.

The opinion says the travel ban likely violates the establishment clause and points to Trump’s “disparaging comments and tweets” as evidence of anti-Muslim bias. “On a fundamental level,” the opinion said, the travel ban “second-guesses our nation’s dedication to religious freedom and tolerance.”

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in December that Trump had likely exceeded his authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act in enacting the latest ban. The 9th Circuit did not rule on whether the ban had violated the First Amendment by discriminating against Muslims.

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the latest travel ban to take effect while challenges work their way through the courts.

The 4th Circuit ruled in three consolidated lawsuits from Maryland. The court upheld a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the travel ban against people from the Muslim-majority nations who have bona fide relationships with people or entities in the United States, but stayed the injunction in light of the Supreme Court order.

The case is International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump.

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