U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

9th Hands Trump Another Travel Ban Loss

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt another blow to President Trump's travel ban orders, saying that immigration policy is "not a one-person show."

"We conclude that the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress," the court said in State of Hawaii v. Trump.

It is the second court of appeals to rule against the president's latest travel ban. The first appellate decision, issued by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Immigration and Nationality Act

The Ninth Circuit took a different route than the Fourth Circuit to reach the same conclusion -- that Trump's second executive order against nationals of six Muslim-majority countries violates federal laws.

In the Hawaii case, the appeals court said the president did not meet an "essential precondition" to exercising his delegated authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act. He did not show that people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen would be "detrimental to the interests of the United States."

The president's order did not connect nationals coming from those countries to terrorist activities in the United States, the court said. The Department of Homeland Security, the court noted, said "most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States."

"The Order makes no finding that nationality alone renders entry of this broad class of individuals a heightened security risk to the United States," the court said.

"Religious Intolerance"

However, the Ninth Circuit said the trial court's decision to enjoin the ban was too broad. Judge Derek Watson in Hawaii had ruled against the travel ban on constitutional grounds, but the appeals court said he could not enjoin the president or internal immigration procedures. Otherwise, the court affirmed the nationwide injunction against all other government agents.

"In conclusion, the Order does not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality," the court said.

The Fourth Circuit, in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, recently affirmed an injunction against the president's order on constitutional grounds. The judges said the executive order "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."

Trump's lawyers have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear that decision.

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