Published: Sat, April 01, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

United States appeals to higher court over ruling against Trump's revised travel ban

United States appeals to higher court over ruling against Trump's revised travel ban

The government is asking a federal judge to clarify his order blocking President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, arguing it shouldn't apply to a global freeze on refugees entering the United States.

As they flew to the USA on Wednesday, a federal judge in Hawaii put a hold on President Trump's newest ban - the latest development in a fight between the administration and the courts that has injected more uncertainty into the lives of refugees.

The ruling in Maryland and another in Hawaii earlier this week were victories for civil liberties groups and advocates for immigrants and refugees.

In seeking clarification, the Justice Department argued that the lawsuit "failed to meaningfully challenge" another section of Trump's order that bars refugees from traveling to the United States for 120 days and caps the number that will be allowed into the USA this fiscal year at 50,000 - a drop of almost half.

"These statements, which include explicit, direct statements of President Trump's animus toward Muslims and intention to impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States, present a convincing case that the first executive order was issued to accomplish, as almost as possible, President Trump's promised Muslim ban", Chuang wrote on Thursday.

The ban was set to go into effect Thursday.

Trump said the court's ruling makes the United States look weak, and that he will continue the legal battle. The Maryland ruling took the form of a preliminary injunction, which will remain in effect indefinitely as the case is litigated.

Chuang wrote that he "should not, and will not, second-guess the conclusion that national security interests would be served by the travel ban", but if the national security rationale was secondary to an attempt to disfavor a particular religion, he had no choice but to block the executive order. Hearings were scheduled Wednesday in Maryland, Washington state and Hawaii on President Donald Trump's travel ban.

White House tells Russia probers: Come see intel yourselves
The House panel's work has been deeply, and perhaps irreparably, undermined by Nunes' apparent coordination with the White House. Comey said he would not testify without a formal invite, a spokesman for Nunes told CNN.

'Spain can veto Brexit deal applying to Gibraltar'
The Prime Minister told MPs the United Kingdom was clear that Gibraltar was "covered by our exit negotiations". Spain has had long ambitions to reclaim sovereignty over Gibraltar .

Paul Ryan: Democrats Don't Want Obamacare Repeal, Republicans Do
Trump tweeted early Thursday, "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast". The speaker also said he was encouraging Republican lawmakers "to keep talking to one another".

Trump, who used anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail in his successful run for the White House, will now have to account for those statements in court, with both judges saying the order raised the specter of religious bias.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing the government would "vigorously defend this executive order" and appeal the "flawed rulings".

"Defendants, however, have not shown, or even asserted, that national security can not be maintained without an unprecedented six-country travel ban, a measure that has not been deemed necessary at any other time in recent history". They said the ban was ordered in the interest of national security to protect the USA from "radical Islamic terrorism".

Judge Watson's ruling concluded there was "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" behind the travel ban, including the president's own campaign comments regarding Muslims. "We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court". "The remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible injury".

Hans von Spakovsky, from the Washington D.C. -based Heritage Foundation, said the Department of Justice might want to time their appeals to reach the Supreme Court after Gorsuch is confirmed.

President Trump described the ruling as "unprecedented judicial overreach". The 4th Circuit has a conservative reputation but has become more moderate in recent years, he said. It also removes a preference for religious minorities in their home countries, which would have benefited Christians in Muslim-majority countries, and removes a complete ban on Syrian refugees.

"They will take it because of its national importance", Spakovsky said.

Like this: