4th Cir. Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Muslim Ban

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia voted 8 to 4 against Donald Trump's third version of a travel ban on Muslims from specific countries.

Trump signed the third ban in September. Unlike the first two versions, which were temporary, this one permanently bans people from six Muslim-majority countries. It also bans people from North Korea, which sends almost no one to the United States, and a handful of government officials from Venezuela.

The 285 page opinion is here. The Court used Trump's own words to support its ruling. The Court said his words demonstrated that the policy was grounded in bias.

The court pointed to “undisputed evidence that the President of the United States has openly and often expressed his desire to ban those of Islamic faith from entering the United States.”


Unlike the first two bans, the third, created in September, is permanent. The ACLU says the 4th Circuit is the first federal appeals court to strike down a Trump-created permanent immigration policy pertaining to Muslims living in specreated by the Trump administration.

We're not done fighting this yet:

Despite today's ruling, the ban remains in effect while the Supreme Court considers the case. It is expected to hear arguments in April and to decide by June whether the president may indefinitely exclude millions of Muslims from uniting with their families in the United States. Let's hope the third ban’s rejection by the appeals courts is an indication of its ultimate fate.

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    My SCOTUS prediction (none / 0) (#1)
    by linea on Mon Feb 19, 2018 at 05:09:10 PM EST
    My prediction on the SCOTUS decision in June (?) is that district courts will be restricted to granting relief to individual plaintiffs rather than issuing a national injunction of a presidential order concerning entry of foreign nationals. It will be a divided court decision of the conservative majority.


    For the same reasons as in IRAP I, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in adopting a nationwide injunction. Id.; IRAP v. Trump, 265 F. Supp. 3d at 632. First, Plaintiffs are scattered throughout the country, making piecemeal injunctive relief difficult. Richmond Tenants Org., Inc. v. Kemp, 956 F.2d 1300, 1308-09 (4th Cir. 1992). Second, "Congress has instructed that `the immigration laws of the United States should be enforced vigorously and uniformly.'" Texas v. United States, 809 F.3d 134, 187- 88 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99- 603, § 115(1), 100 Stat. 3359, 3384), affirmed by equally divided court, 136 S. Ct. 2271 (2016). Finally, because we find that the Proclamation was issued in violation of the Constitution, enjoining it only as to Plaintiffs would not cure its deficiencies. IRAP I, 857 F.3d at 605.

    I am of that opinion based on SCOTUS highlighting that issue in granting the review:

    The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. In addition to the questions presented by the petition, the parties are directed to brief and argue Question 3 presented by the brief in opposition.

    Question 3:

    The questions presented are:
    (1) Whether respondents' challenge to the President's suspension of entry of aliens abroad is justiciable.
    (2) Whether the Proclamation is a lawful exercise of the President's authority to suspend entry of aliens abroad.
    (3) Whether the global injunction is impermissibly overbroad.