September 28, 2020 | News | No Comments
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that President Donald Trump’s revised Muslim Ban, issued in March and lambasted by rights groups, is unconstitutional.
The full Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case earlier this month. In a 10-3 decision (pdf) on Thursday, the panel upheld a lower court’s nationwide preliminary injunction on Trump’s executive order, which blocked for 90 days people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. The revised order, like the one it replaced, also suspended the nation’s refugee program for 120 days and reduced the annual number of refugees to 50,000 from 120,000.
Citing statements made by Trump and surrogates, the Fourth Circuit ruling said the majority was “unconvinced” that the order “has more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the president’s proposed Muslim ban.” On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
The ruling refers to an executive order “that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
Rights groups celebrated the decision.
“President Trump’s Muslim ban violates the Constitution, as this decision strongly reaffirms,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project, who argued the case. “The Constitution’s prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion is a fundamental protection for all of us, and we can all be glad that the court today rejected the government’s request to set that principle aside.”
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