United States court says Trump travel ban unlawfully discriminates against Muslims

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 15, 2018

A U.S. appeals court in Virginia ruled on Thursday that President Donald Trump's latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries violates the US.

The Supreme Court justices let it take full effect in December pending their ultimate determination.

In a 9-4 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said it examined statements made by Trump and other administration officials, as well as the ban itself, and concluded that it is "unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam". The Supreme Court already has said it will consider both issues in deciding the legality of the ban in the coming months.

"In sum, the face of the Proclamation, read in the context of President Trump's official statements, fails to demonstrate a primarily secular goal".

The travel ban challengers "offer undisputed evidence of such bias: the words of the President", Gregory wrote, noting Trump's "disparaging comments and tweets regarding Muslims".

As a candidate, Trump promised "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

"Yet again, a federal court has confirmed that blanket bans on Muslims, even when wrapped up in the rhetoric of 'national security, ' are at odds with American laws and values", said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center's Liberty & National Security Program. Niemeyer criticized the majority, saying his colleagues applied "a novel legal rule that provides for the use of campaign-trail statements to recast later official acts of the president".

The revised ban places varying levels of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen. Trump tweaked the order after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reinstate the ban. In their decision, the court cited President Trump's own words, including his retweeting of anti-Muslim videos and dissemination of conspiracy theories about Muslims. "It's no surprise", ACLU lawyer Cecillia Wang said.

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