Trump travel ban dealt another blow, faces high court next

A U.S. appeals court on Monday left in place a block on President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting citizens from six Muslim majority nations - the latest in a string of judicial blows for the controversial measure.

The administration said it would seek further review at the U.S. Supreme Court, as it has already done with a ruling against the travel ban by another appeals court last month.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said the travel ban is well within the president's broad authority to secure the nation's borders, an assertion that drew skeptical questioning from the judges, all appointees of President Bill Clinton. He said that the executive branch is entrusted with the responsibility to keep the country safe under Article II of the constitution but "unfortunately, this injunction prevents him from fully carrying out his Article II duties and has a chilling effect on security operations overall".

The 9th Circuit, which heard arguments in Seattle last month in Hawaii's challenge to the ban, found no need to analyse Trump's campaign statements.

Chin says the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Monday is everything high school students learn in social studies coming into play the way it should.

The decision was also upheld by Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 25 as well.

Neal Katyal, an attorney representing Hawaii, which sued to stop the ban, told the judges the policy could not be squared with U.S. immigration law, which bars nationality-based discrimination in issuing immigration visas, or with the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on the government favoring or disfavoring any religion.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision blocking the ban and said the president violated U.S. immigration law.

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Discussions between the members continued through Sunday and into Monday morning, two sources said. As news of his testimony broke, Sessions attended a Cabinet meeting with Trump at the White House.

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Yesterday's ruling was the latest in a string of judicial blows to Trump's efforts to prohibit the entry of citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days while the USA government reviews their screening procedures. "It does not provide any link between an individual's nationality and their propensity to commit terrorism or their inherent dangerousness".

"The Order does not tie these nationals in any way to terrorist organizations within the six designated countries", they wrote.

The president then rewrote his executive order rather than appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court at that time. That helped demonstrate he was not assessing whether the roughly 180 million citizens of the six countries had ties to terrorism, they said.

The White House has vowed to challenge these court orders. The U.S. refugee program would be halted for 120 days.

Among other things, the judges concluded that the president didn't adequately consult with Congress before reducing the number of refugees who could be admitted to the U.S. The 4th Circuit found the policy unconstitutional on that basis.

Both courts were broadly skeptical of the government's argument that the president - who has wide latitude on issues of immigration - was well within his rights to issue the executive order. The new version, created to better withstand legal scrutiny, named six countries instead of seven - dropping Iraq - and spelled out more of a national security rationale. "The president's authority is subject to certain statutory and constitutional restraints".

In March, the judge in Honolulu blocked the new version from taking effect, citing what he called "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" in Trump's campaign statements.

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