Another US appeals court keeps Trump's travel ban blocked

"We continue to be confident that the president's executive order to protect this country is fully lawful and ultimately will be upheld by the Supreme Court", he said.

On Monday, a three-judge panel of the 9 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a district court's injunction against President Donald Trump's second travel ban. The court said the Trump administration failed to show that people, including refugees, coming from mainly Muslim nations would hurt American interests.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, issued a temporary restraining order on March 15 that blocked Trump's revised executive order, which the president issued after a federal judge in Washington state blocked his first order and after an appeals court refused to reinstate it.

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The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit kept in place a lower court injunction on the ban, arguing the president had overstepped his authority and his executive order discriminated against travelers based on their nationality.

After Watson's ruling this spring, Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized the action, saying he was "amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power".

A 13-judge panel of the 4th Circuit extensively considered issues of religious freedom, drawing heavily on Trump's public statements calling for a "Muslim ban".

"But our inquiry, whether for determining Section 2 (c)'s primary goal or for weighing the harm to the parties, is one of balance, and on balance, we can not say that the Government's asserted national security interest outweighs the competing harm to Plaintiffs of the likely Establishment Clause violation".

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The 90-day ban was to apply to people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The court cited two previous Supreme Court cases in its conclusion - including one in 1944 involving the containment of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II, an idea that Justice Frank Murphy said "falls into the ugly abyss of racism". The 4th Circuit found the policy unconstitutional on that basis.

That went one step farther than the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which only upheld the part of the measure naming the specific countries. Trump, the court wrote, had not demonstrated a "link between an individual's nationality and their propensity to commit terrorism or their inherent dangerousness". The second allows the president to set the number of annual refugee admissions for each fiscal year. The majority noted Trump's campaign pledge to bar Muslims from entering the country.

Trump's earlier January 27 order also included Iraq among the countries targeted and a total ban on refugees from Syria.

The court however allowed the government to conduct internal reviews on vetting as it vacated part of the injunction.

The Department of Homeland Security report - issued just after Trump's first executive order - concluded that citizenship of any given country "is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity" and that citizens from the countries targeted by Trump's ban are "rarely implicated in US-based terrorism".

Katyal cites a tweet the President made on June 5 when he wrote, "The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C".

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