Trump's Travel Ban Back in the Courts

A federal appeals court panel ruled late last month that President Trump's third travel ban violates federal law, reported The Washington Post.

The three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit stated that the president exceeded his lawful authority in issuing the latest ban and that he had not made a legally sufficient finding that entry of those blocked would be "detrimental to the interests of the United States." In a 77-page decision, the judges reaffirmed a lower court judge's block of the ban, although it would allow the government to enforce the measure on those without any bona fide U.S. ties.

The court's ruling will have little immediate impact, however, as the judges placed the decision on hold pending consideration by the Supreme Court.

Trump's latest ban blocks various travelers from eight countries from entering the United States. Two federal judges had earlier blocked its implementation, at least in part, although the Supreme Court this month allowed it to fully take effect while the legal battle ran its course through the courts, the Post reported.

In a separate ruling, a federal judge in Seattle partially lifted the Trump administration's ban on certain refugees.

Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Jewish Family Service previously asked U.S. District Judge James Robart for an injunction on a ban the administration placed on refugees from some mostly Muslim countries. The ban originally went into effect after President Trump issued an executive order reinstating the refugee program "with enhanced vetting capabilities" in October.

The ACLU argued that a memo sent to the president from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats saying certain refugees should be banned unless security was enhanced did not provide enough evidence for why more security was needed, the Hill reported.

Judge Robart ruled that the federal government should process certain refugee applications, but stated that his order does not apply to refugees who do not have a "bona fide" relationship with an individual or an entity in the U.S.

The judge wrote that "former officials detailed concretely how the Agency Memo will harm the United States' national security and foreign policy interests" and said his ruling restores "refuge procedures and programs to the position they were in prior" to the ban, which he noted included thorough vetting of individuals traveling to the U.S.


Related Links

The Washington Post

The Hill