In early December, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the newest version of Mr. Trump’s travel ban could go into effect, pending an appeal. CNN reported:
‘Issued in September, the third edition of the travel ban placed varying levels of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.’
Then, in late December, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the third version of Trump’s travel ban citing that it went against federal law.
By adding countries like North Korea and Venezuela to the ban, the Trump Administration had hoped to curb the argument that the ban only amounts to a ban on Muslims from entering the U.S.
However, A Virginia-based court of appeals ruled the ban unconstitutional on Thursday, saying that it unlawfully discriminates against Muslims. A majority of the judges on the Fourth Court of Circuit Appeals made a 9-4 decision to overturn the ban. They cited that they had reviewed official statements from Trump and other executive branch officials, and the proclamation itself. They therefore found that the ban was “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam.”
According to federal court documents:
‘Plaintiffs here have alleged that the Proclamation violates the Establishment Clause, which bars government action that establishes or disfavors religion. U.S. Const. amend. I; Everson v. Bd. of Educ., 330 U.S. 1, 15 (1947). Thus, we must assume that the Proclamation does harbor unconstitutional animus against Islam.’
The Trump Administration maintains that a ban is necessary for national security but their reasoning hasn’t been withstanding the test in court in lately. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals document went on to explain:
‘The district court concluded that numerous individual Plaintiffs had “asserted specific, intangible injuries resulting from [their] personal contact with the alleged Establishment Clause violation.” IRAP v. Trump, 265 F. Supp. 3d at 600. We agree. The
Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the Proclamation—which we must assume does unconstitutionally disfavor Islam, Cooksey, 721 F.3d at 239—has caused many Plaintiffs to suffer two related personal injuries. First, they, as members of the disfavored religion, are the “victims of this alleged religious intolerance” who are suffering “[f]eelings of marginalization and exclusion.” Moss, 683 F.3d at 606–07; cf. id. (finding certain plaintiffs lacked standing because they were members of favored religion and so were “seeking to vindicate . . . the rights of others”). Second, they are experiencing prolonged separation from close family members who have been rendered categorically ineligible for visas. See Bostic, 760 F.3d at 371–72 (finding same injury provided standing for two different claims). Because these are actual, concrete injuries that “affect the plaintiff[s] in a personal and individual way,” Plaintiffs have suffered a cognizable injury-in-fact.
The document details how one plaintiff said that because of the ban he heard anti-Muslim comments in his grocery store more frequently. The court of appeals said:
‘He states that he felt “insulted” and “demeaned” by the travel restrictions because they “felt like collective punishment” and that the Proclamation “has made [him] feel this more strongly.”’
‘He also notes that since the first travel ban was issued in January 2017, he gets “more suspicious looks from people” and feels that he is “being labeled as a Muslim more often.”’
This is one win for justice, but there are so many more battles yet to be fought.
Here’s what Twitter had to say about Thursday’s court of appeals decision:
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