9th Circuit Again Blocks Travel Ban

President Trump exceeded his authority by issuing the travel ban that suspended entry to 180 million nationals from six countries and putting a cap on admission of refugees, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

The decision is the second appellate ruling to reject Trump’s order to restrict entry of people from six Muslim-dominated countries while the U.S. reviews its vetting procedures.  The other case, decided by the Virginia-based 4th Circuit on a 10-3 vote, is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This will give the U.S. Supreme Court the ability to take up both cases.

“We conclude that the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress,” the three-judge panel wrote in an unsigned decision.

“Immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show,” the court said.

The court said, in order to assert his delegated authority the President “must make a sufficient finding that the entry of these classes of people would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States.’ Further, the order runs afouls of other provisions of the [Immigration and Naturalization Act] that prohibit nationality-based discrimination and require the President to follow a specific process when setting the annual cap on the admission of refugees,” it said.

The appeals panel did make a technical change that allows the administration to continue to review vetting procedures even though implementation of the travel ban has been blocked. That portion of the order cuts back on an overly-broad restriction imposed by a federal judge in Hawaii.

The ruling is based on the Trump Administration’s second and revised executive order issued March 6. It was signed by Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez.

The 4th Circuit ruled May 25 that the travel ban violated the Constitution’s Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, which bars government acts that establish a religion.

Originally, Trump issued the order on January 27, after one week in office, suspending entry to the  U.S. for 90 days of immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of foreign aliens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yeman.

The action created havoc at airports around the country as people traveling with previously issued visas and even green cards were turned away. This included some who lived in the U.S. and were simply returning from trips abroad.

The order was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle and the 9th Circuit upheld the order. Trump then revised the order and issued the amended version on March 6, which eliminated Iraq from the ban and applied the ban to foreign nationals living outside the U.S.

A second lawsuit against the ban was filed in Hawaii and a judge there enjoined enforcement of the ban. That was appealed to the 9th Circuit. The Hawaii ruling was largely upheld in today’s order, with the exception of allowing the administration to proceed with review of its vetting procedures.

Case: Hawaii v. Trump, No. 17-15589



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