Federal Appeals Court Upholds Freeze on Trump’s Travel Ban
By Matt Zapotosky
June 12, 2017 at 3:35 PM
A West Coast federal appeals court upheld the freeze on President Trumps travel ban Monday, declaring that Trump had exceeded his lawful authority in suspending the issuance of visas to residents of six Muslim majority countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program.
A three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled against the administration unanimously. Their ruling is another blow to Trump though the fate of his travel ban already had been destined to be decided by the Supreme Court.
A different federal appeals court had previously ruled against the president in a separate case, and the administration already had asked the nations highest court to intervene.
[Trumps latest tweets will probably hurt effort to restore travel ban]
The ruling by the 9th Circuit, though, was both logistically and symbolically important keeping in place the broadest blockade on Trumps ban and creating new legal and practical paths for the directive to meet its ultimate demise.
Unlike other courts in the past, the three judges on the 9th Circuit did not dwell on Trumps public comments, nor did they declare the president had run afoul of the constitution because his intent was to discriminate. Instead, they ruled that Trumps travel ban lacked a sufficient national security or other justification that would make it legal, and that violated immigration law.
They offered no opinion on whether the ban was constitutional.
There is no finding that present vetting standards are inadequate, and no finding that absent the improved vetting procedures there likely will be harm to our national interests, the judges wrote. These identified reasons do not support the conclusion that the entry of nationals from the six designated countries would be harmful to our national interests.
A Justice Department spokesman said officials were preparing a response.
Neal Katyal, one of the lawyers representing those challenging the ban, said on Twitter that the decision was a complete win and noted it was different than previous victories in other cases.
While the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit already had upheld a separate freeze on Trumps ban, that freeze did not apply to the portion of Trumps order dealing with refugees. The 9th Circuit was considering a freeze that did, and they concluded Trump had not provided sufficient justification to either temporarily suspend refugee admission or lower the refugee cap for fiscal 2017 to 50,000.
The opinion also clarified that the administration could conduct an internal review to assess vetting procedures.
The complete article may be read at the URL above.
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