Virginia appeals court upholds Trump travel ban block

Legal case inching closer to Supreme Court

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia upheld on Thursday the block of the revised travel ban proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump, saying that it indeed discriminates on the basis of religion. This ban was a revision of an original proposal that was shot down by courts in January. While Trump revised the last time his band was rejected by a court of appeals, early reports are that this case may be sent up to the Supreme Court. The administration is still waiting on a decision by a court of appeals in Seattle, which last heard argument on May 15. A ruling in favor of the ban would improve the administration’s case in the nation’s highest court. The ban was already previously rejected by a federal judge in Hawaii as well.

This new ban involved a 90-day suspension of entry from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Differences from the previous ban included an omission of Iraq, a removal of a complete ban on Syrian refugees, a highlighting that each decision would be made on a case-by-case basis, and a removal of all references to religion. The defense crafted by the government also pointed to immigration law allowing the executive branch a wide berth of judgment when it comes to restricting entry to foreigners. Still, the court of appeals determined that the principle was the same as the one the first ban was based upon and upheld the block ten votes to three. In the ruling, the court said it was “unconvinced” that the order “has more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the president’s proposed Muslim ban”. Chief Judge Roger Gregory called it “an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation”.

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