The Trump administration’s attempt to limit who can enter the US suffered another blow Thursday after a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s decision to temporarily suspend the executive order, saying it “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”
The latest travel ban restricted visitors from six Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, which the federals appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled illegally targeted Muslims.
This is the second version of the executive order. President Donald Trump first signed an executive order in January which banned all Syrian refugees for 120 days and banned for 90 days all visas for people from Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.
That ruling resulted in mass chaos at airports as people who were midair when the ban was signed were not allowed in the US despite having visas. Protests erupted at airports all around the US.
That executive order was almost immediately challenged in court, and eventually was suspended after the US Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling.
The Trump administration soon put forward another executive order, which included more clear language about people holding permanent visas, or green cards, being allowed to enter the US and also removed Iraq from the list of countries that was banned.
Lawsuits were quickly filed in Hawaii and Maryland against the new order, which was temporarily suspended, and then a federal judge in Hawaii extended the suspension.
Today, Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote in the court’s 10-to-3 decision to uphold the suspension of the travel ban that the executive order was “steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group.”
The Trump administration will have to decide now if it wants to appeal the court’s decision to the Supreme Court.