Another U.S. appeals court stomped on President Donald Trump’s revised immigration ban Monday, saying the administration violated federal immigration law and failed to provide a valid reason for keeping people from six mostly Muslim nations from coming to the country.
The decision by a unanimous three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals helps keep the immigration ban blocked and deals Trump a second big legal defeat on the policy in less than three weeks.
The administration has appealed another ruling against the ban to the Supreme Court, which is likely to consider the cases in tandem. The White House said it is confident the high court will uphold Trump’s executive order.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia last month cited the president’s campaign statements calling for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslims entering the U.S. as evidence that the 90-day ban was unconstitutionally “steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group,” rather than necessary for national security.
The 9th Circuit, which heard arguments in Seattle last month in Hawaii’s challenge to the ban, found no need to analyze Trump’s campaign statements. It ruled based on immigration law, not the Constitution.
“Immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show,” the judges said, adding: “National security is not a ’talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions the Justice Department “will continue to seek further review by the Supreme Court.”
“The Executive Branch is entrusted with the responsibility to keep the country safe under Article II of the Constitution,” he said in a written statement. “Unfortunately, this injunction prevents the President from fully carrying out his Article II duties and has a chilling effect on security operations overall.”
By Gene Johnson and Sudhid Thanawala for The Globe and Mail
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