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Appeals court upholds ban on Trump's travel restrictions

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A federal appeals court Thursday upheld one of two bans on enforcing President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from six predominately Muslim countries. reports citing NBCnews

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Virginia, voted 10-3 to uphold a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who declared in March that the president's revised travel order amounted to unconstitutional religious discrimination.

Campaign statements by Donald Trump, who originally called for a ban on Muslim immigration, "provide direct, specific evidence" of what motivated his executive orders, "President Trump's desire to excluse Muslims from the United States," the appeals court said.

The Justice Department had urged the court to lift the ban on enforcement. It said the executive order had a legitimate national security purpose, allowing the government to assess the reliability of background information on visa applicants from six countries associated with terrorism.

After President Trump's first executive order was blocked in court, the president signed the second one, imposing a 90-day ban on travel from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. In addition to the Maryland judge's ruling, the subject of Thursday's appeals court ruling, the executive order was also blocked by a judge in Hawaii.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments May 15 on the government's efforts to lift that stay.

Both appeals courts would have had to rule in the administration's favor to allow enforcement of the revised executive order. An appeal to the US Supreme Court seems certain, but it is unlikely the justices would hear the case before the fall.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing a group of refugee aid organizations and Muslim residents whose overseas relatives are seeking visas, declared victory on Twitter after the announcement, saying, "We won in 4th circuit Muslim ban case!"

2017.05.25 / 23:32
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