Appeals court says Trump's latest travel ban violates the law - again

A Federal Appeals Court Ruled That Trump's Third Travel Ban Is Likely Unconstitutional

Another federal appeals court strikes down Trump 'travel ban'

In December, the high court said the ban could be fully enforced while appeals made their way through the courts.

President Donald Trump's tweet referring to an apocryphal story about bullets dipped in pigs' blood being used against Muslims resurfaced in a court case challenging his travel ban.

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the latest travel ban to take effect while challenges work their way through the courts.

The judges from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled that the executive order is "unconstitutionally tainted with animus towards Islam" and "second-guesses our nation's dedication to religious freedom and tolerance".

The third version of Trump's travel ban targets people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

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"The Muslim ban has a devastating impact on US families waiting to reunite with their family members, foreign students seeking educational opportunities, and others who would otherwise be eligible for visas to travel to the United States", said Mariko Hirose, IRAP's Litigation Director.

"This is a hard argument to make given that the President and his advisors have repeatedly relied on these pre-election statements to explain the President's post-election actions related to the travel ban", the court wrote.

"The government's proffered rationale for the proclamation lies at odds with the statements of the president himself", wrote Chief Judge Roger Gregory. "It's no surprise. The Constitution prohibits government actions hostile to a religion".

"Today's ruling affirms that they are being unjustly targeted by this ban", said Mariko Hirose, the groups litigation director.

The 4th Circuit found that Trump had expressed "what any reasonable observer could view as general anti-Muslim bias".

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After federal courts struck down the president's first two attempts at a travel ban, Trump on September 24 signed the latest set of travel restrictions.

Judge Paul Niemeyer, one of the dissenters, denounced his colleagues' "bold effort to second-guess US foreign policy and, in particular, the president's discretionary decisions on immigration, implicating matters of national security".

This is the third time the president has attempted to enact such restrictions.

The majority ruling cited Trump's Twitter posts and other public statements as evidence that the stated intent behind the executive order - national security - is mere window dressing for its true intent. In fact, it is hard to imagine how an objective observer could come to any other conclusion when the President's own deputy press secretary made this connection express: he explained that President Trump tweets extremist anti-Muslim videos as part of his broader concerns about "security", which he has "addressed. with. the proclamation".

Trump announced his initial travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim-majority nations shortly after taking office in January, bringing havoc and protests to airports around the United States.

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