A Federal Appeals Court Rules That Trump's Latest Travel Ban Is Unconstitutional

Trump Loses Again on Travel Ban in Ruling by Second Appeals Panel

Trump Loses Again on Travel Ban in Ruling by Second Appeals Panel

A Virginia-based federal appeals court on Thursday ruled against the latest version of President Trump's travel ban affecting residents of six majority-Muslim countries ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court's expected decision in the case this year.

In yet another legal setback, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-4 to rule against the ban, saying it violated the Constitution by discriminating based on race. It follows the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco issuing a similar ruling late past year. The case is now poised to come before the U.S. Supreme Court, which allowed the ban to be implemented until related litigation is complete - even though no court has yet deemed any iteration of the Muslim ban legal.

"Examining official statements from President Trump and other executive branch officials, along with the proclamation itself, we conclude that the proclamation is unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam", 4th Circuit Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote in the ruling.

The justices are due in April to hear arguments over the ban and issue a ruling by the end of June. The court also took note of the fact that Trump in November shared on Twitter anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British political figure.

"Yet again, a federal court has confirmed that blanket bans on Muslims, even when wrapped up in the rhetoric of 'national security, ' are at odds with American laws and values", said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center's Liberty & National Security Program.

The revised ban places varying levels of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen. Trump has said the policy is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamic militants. Trump tweaked the order after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reinstate the ban. "It's no surprise", ACLU lawyer Cecillia Wang said.