A federal US appeals court upheld a freeze on
President Trump’s executive order to ban entry of citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, inflicting another legal blow to the efforts of the new administration which is seeking to tighten immigration rules. The decisive ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit means
the Trump administration will not be able to enforce its executive order to bar entry of citizens from Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Libya. The executive order was said to be aimed at countering terrorism. A US District Judge in state of Maryland had issued the nationwide injunction that was upheld by the Appeal Court.The Maryland judge had ruled that the ban was in conflict with the Constitution by discriminating against Muslims. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the administration will appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court.
The 10-3 decision by the appeal court observed that the president did not hold an absolute power to deny entry into the United States and that the travel ban “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination,” the Washington Post reported.
The ban would have stayed even if the appeal court had vacated it as the
president’s order had been frozen by another federal judge in the State of Hawaii. A US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in the city of San Francisco is hearing an appeal against the Hawaii federal judge ruling. The court did not go by the arguments of the government lawyer that
federal immigration laws gives broad authority to the President to implement such orders. The latest ruling adds to the legal woes of the administration of President Trump, who had rewritten the executive order after the first order of its kind was stayed by the 9th Circuit Court in February. The revised order had sought to suspend the US refugee program and ban the entry of citizens from the six countries by halting the issuance of visas for 90 days. The administration said it wanted to use the temporary freeze to review the screening process. Attorney General Sessions said the administration will seek review of
the ruling that it “strongly disagrees” with. He did not give any details. The administration’s request for review will be heard by the 9-member Supreme Court.
The ruling by the Maryland Judge was issued after the ban was challenged
by organizations and individuals, including a Muslim in the United States whose relatives would be affected by the ban, the Washington Post report said. President Trump had made statements during his election campaign about
the ban on Muslims from entering the United States and many of his supporters had made comments to support the President.