Saturday, June 17, 2017

25.1 - Good News: 9th Circuit upholds block of travel ban

Good News: 9th Circuit upholds block of travel ban

Starting off with some Good News, we find that TheRump keeps trying to ban Muslims - and he keeps losing. His first attempt at a travel ban was a total whiff and his second attempt is faring no better.

Just as a reminder so we're clear on what we're talking about, that second order, issued on March 6 and supposedly designed to overcome the legal objections to the first one, was a 90-day ban on nationals from six Muslim-majority countries - Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen - entering the US, a 120-day ban on the entry of all refugees, and a reduction on the cap on admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for fiscal 2017.

First, on March 15, federal district Judge Derrick Watson in Hawai'i issued a nationwide injunction against the ban. On March 16, District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland issued his own injunction, finding that the proposal was "the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban" and noted that during the 2016 campaign TheRump had called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

On May 25, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Virginia, upheld Judge Chuang's order, finding that the ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination" aimed at Muslims.

And now, on June 11, a panel of the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Watson's order in a ruling that included a reference to TheRump's tweets calling the ban exactly what his lawyers had been insisting it isn't: a travel ban.

Interestingly, the 9th circuit panel ruled on narrow grounds and did not address the question of if it was unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims. Instead, the said His High Orangeness had violated existing immigration law

Under that law, the administration was required to make findings that entry of the people in question would be detrimental to the United States but failed to do so, the court said. Quoting the court:
The order does not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality.
Ruling on narrow grounds isn't surprising; courts often prefer to rule on narrow grounds, if they are there, rather than having to deal with broader questions.

Then again, it's possible it was done for another purpose: The case will likely wind up in the lap of the Supreme Court and Stephen Vladeck, a professor at University of Texas School of Law, said the 9th Circuit provided an easier path for the Supreme Court to uphold the injunctions against the travel ban, because it avoided entirely the controversy over TheRump's campaign statements and the question of if it is religious discrimination.

So thus far TheRump is a whiff in game 1 and 0-4 in game 2. Let's hope he keeps his string going and we have more Good News.

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