Federal appeals court largely maintains freeze of Trump's travel ban

The judges "remain unconvinced" that the travel ban had "more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the President's promised Muslim ban".

But the ruling from the 4th Circuit was the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the administration.

The case is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court, which would make the final decision.

That, the judge wrote, amounts to "religious animus" that runs afoul of the First Amendment.

The second executive order - "EO-2", as the court dubbed it - is the one that was under consideration by the 4th Circuit, and in several other courtrooms across the country.

A federal appeals court on Thursday largely left in place the freeze on President Donald Trump's revised entry ban, handing the administration another legal blow in its efforts to block the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim majority countries.

The chief judge of the circuit, Roger L. Gregory, wrote in the ruling that the administration's national security interest appear to be a secondary justification "for an executive action rooted in religious animus and meant to bar Muslims from this country".

A central question in the case was whether courts should consider Trump's past statements about wanting to bar Muslims from entering the country as evidence that the policy was primarily motivated by the religion. Jadwat says "the Constitution's prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion is a fundamental protection for all of us".

Trump's travel ban 'drips with religious...

The court, based in Richmond, Va., upheld a lower court's decision that barred the Trump administration from implementing its second attempt at the travel ban in March.

In addition to the Maryland judge's ruling, the subject of Thursday's appeals court ruling, the executive order was also blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii.

A federal judge in Washington State granted a temporary restraining order against the ban, and the Ninth Circuit declined to grant the government a temporary stay of the temporary restraining order pending appeal.

  • Larry Hoffman