Fourth Circuit Rules Against Trump Travel Ban After Finding "Taint"

Despite the victory the Trump Administration achieved in the U.S. Supreme Court defending President Trump’s executive order limiting travel to the United States from a small number of failed states and state sponsors of terrorism–aka travel ban–the #Resistance soldiers on.


After ruling in favor of the administration last time, SCOTUS ordered that circuit courts expeditiously hear any remaining cases so that they could settle the issue. The Ninth Circuit, unsurprisingly, ruled against the travel ban but did not place an injunction on its enforcement.

This left one case in the formerly conservative Fourth Circuit. And it has ruled against the travel ban. Again.

President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban on travelers from six largely Muslim countries is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam,” a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, delivering another blow to the policy.

In a 9-4 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said it examined statements made by Trump and other administration officials, as well as the presidential proclamation imposing the ban, and concluded that it “second-guesses our nation’s dedication to religious freedom and tolerance.”

The 4th Circuit is the second federal appeals court to rule against the ban. In December, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Trump exceeded the scope of his authority with the latest ban.

The 4th Circuit court upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who issued an injunction barring enforcement of the ban against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have bona fide relationships with people in the U.S.

Though this article doesn’t say so…because it wouldn’t have the same impact if it did… the court also stayed the injunction because the Supreme Court told subordinate courts to stop placing injunctions on the order:


The 4th Circuit ruled in three consolidated lawsuits from Maryland. The court upheld a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the travel ban against people from the Muslim-majority nations who have bona fide relationships with people or entities in the United States, but stayed the injunction in light of the Supreme Court order.

This ruling was a foregone conclusion and now that they have stopped stalling, the case can go back to SCOTUS.

Based on the short shrift SCOTUS gave this argument last time around, I don’t think they will find “taint” so much as they will find this ruling stinks. I can’t imagine five justices agreeing that parsing campaign rhetoric and drawing inferences from it is actually a legal argument. The real issue is from Ninth Circuit where they found the president did not have the authority to take action in order to react to a perceived danger.


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