Unlike the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which shot down the President’s revised travel ban on constitutional grounds last month, the Ninth Circuit was persuaded by statutory claims under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.
Additionally, the court’s decision said that President Trump did not follow protocol when setting a cap on refugee admission, and that the part of the order that bans travel to the USA from six Muslim-majority countries constitutes nationality-based discrimination that that is prohibited by the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In its ruling Monday, the appeals court said U.S. Code 1182 (f) requires that “the President exercise his authority only after meeting the precondition of finding that entry of an alien or class of aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the United States“.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled against President Trump’s so-called travel ban, delivering another blow to the administration as it waits for the Supreme Court to decide whether to intervene.
The three-judge decision declared that President Trump must justify his policies in court by citing agency recommendations, and that can not unilaterally curb the annual inflow of refugees from 100,000 to 50,000 and even though prior presidents have raised the and lowered the annual inflow of refugees without interference from the judges.
The administration said the travel ban was needed to allow time to implement stronger vetting measures, although it has already rolled out some new requirements not blocked by courts, including additional questions for visa applicants.
In its ruling Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is based in California, found that the president had exceeded his authority in issuing the order, which also suspended and capped the refugee admissions program.
Both that ruling and today’s 9th Circuit opinion are likely to go before the Supreme Court.
The judges pointed to a June 5 tweet by Trump saying the order was aimed at “dangerous countries“.
“The Order does not tie these nationals in any way to terrorist organizations within the six designated countries“, they wrote. This rule, the 9 Circuit held, clearly prohibits the president from excluding an entire class of immigrants due to their national origin. The attorney general said the Department of Justice will continue to “seek further review by the Supreme Court”.
The president has said the orders are necessary to protect Americans from terrorism and campaigned on a pledge to institute “extreme vetting” of foreigners seeking to enter the country.
Trump’s suspension of the USA refugee program also remains blocked.
The court said he was required to consult with Congress in setting the number of refugees allowed into the country in a given year and that he could not decrease it midyear.
The three judges of the 9th Circuit, writing unanimously, barely discussed religion at all.
The White House has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and reinstate the travel ban.
They likewise rejected the government’s argument that the ban did not discriminate against Muslims, but rather residents of specific countries.