Here's what the Supreme Court might look at — Travel ban case
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 22:15
The judges said they were "unconvinced" that the underlying objective of the travel ban was to maintain national security and that it was instead done to implement Trump's promise during his presidential campaign to bar Muslims from entering the US. "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". It was after seeing defeat after defeat in the courts, all references to a Muslim ban were scrubbed on Trump's campaign website. On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". But really regardless of what happens, these cases are likely heading to the U.S. Supreme Court. The countries were not chosen because they are predominantly Muslim but because they present terrorism risks, the administration said.
"Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute", he added.
In his statement on the matter, Chief Judge Roger Gregory said that revisions removing any mention of religion from the second executive order did not hide the real motive: "President Trump's desire to exclude Muslims from the United States".
The approach "adopts a new rule of law that uses campaign statements to recast the plain, unambiguous, and religiously neutral text", Niemeyer, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote. In particular, it cited his interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, where Trump said that Christians have been "horribly treated". The administration argued it was not supposed to be permanent.
"These cases recognize that when we protect the constitutional rights of the few, it inures to the benefit of all".
The revised version would temporarily suspend the US refugee program and halt for 90 days the issuance of new visas to travelers from the six countries while the administration reviews its screening process.
The revised order also did not indefinitely bar Syrian refugees from entering the US. The revised order, like the one it replaced, also suspended the nation's refugee program for 120 days and reduced the annual number of refugees to 50,000 from 120,000.
A dissenting opinion written by Judge Paul V. Niemeyer and joined by Judges Dennis W. Shedd and G. Steven Agee concluded that Chuang erred.
But Gregory wrote that courts had a role to play.
And claims of national security are not a "silver bullet" to defeat any arguments against a decision, the judges ruled.
It was more than plausible, he added, that the revised order's "stated national security interest was provided in bad faith, as a pretext for its religious goal".
He wrote that the majority "looks past the face" of the order and instead considers campaign statements. This is the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia.
The executive order Trump signed "is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe", Sessions said in a statement.
It's clear that anyone who was paying attention knew the president meant to ban Muslims in the first executive order and that intent remained in this order.
Shortly after the ruling was released, Sessions said he is seeking a review of the case in the Supreme Court. It was met with immediate resistance from the courts, with several federal district judges issuing orders blocking aspects of the order. The 9th Circuit Court heard arguments last week.
Critics said the changes don't erase the legal problems with the ban.
The judges found that the Trump administration's alleged intent to discriminate against Muslims could violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another.
Fox News' Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report.