RICHMOND, Va. President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban on travelers from six largely Islamic countries is unconstitutional, because it discriminates against Muslims because of their religion, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday
In a 9-4 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said that it investigated statements of Trump and the other officers, as well as the ban itself, and concluded that it is “unconstitutionally infected with the animus in the direction of Islam.”
The court upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland that an injunction blocking enforcement of the ban against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have bona fide relationships with people in the USA
The U.S. Supreme court has decided to hear that the travel ban case in April. In December, the court said that the ban could be fully enforced while appeals make their way through the courts.
In its ruling, the 4th Circuit used soaring language of criticism on the ban, saying, it is a “much wider harmful effect” than the banning of certain aliens. The court said that the ban ” denies the possibility of a complete, intact family of tens of thousands of Americans.”
“On a fundamental level, the Proclamation of the second guesses our nation’s dedication to religious freedom and tolerance,” Chief Justice Roger Gregory wrote for the court in the majority opinion.
Trump has said that the ban is a legitimate measure for the protection of national security.
The ruling was the second time the 4th Circuit has rejected a travel ban. In May, the court cited Trump’s comments about Muslim travellers, while rejecting an earlier version of the ban, finding it “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
Trump announced his first travel ban on the citizens of some Muslim-majority nations shortly after taking office in January, causing havoc and protests at airports in the United States. A federal judge in Seattle quickly blocked, and courts since then have struggled with the limitations that the administration has been rewritten.
The latest version blocks travelers from the mentioned countries in different degree, allowing for students of a number of the countries, while blocking other business travellers and tourists, so the recordings on a case-by-case basis.