Putting a travel ban targeting many Muslim majority countries has been a pet project of Donald Trump‘s since the beginning of his presidency. His third attempt at a ban — which affected travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen — was issued in September, but was blocked by a federal judge the day before it was supposed to take affect. The Supreme Court then ruled in favor of the ban, but that didn’t mean that the legal issues surrounding the order would cease.
On Friday evening, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the ban was in fact illegal. The three to zero ruling by the judges declared that ban was a violation of federal law.
“The Government’s interpretation of 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) not only upends the carefully crafted immigration scheme Congress has embodied in the INA, but it deviates from the text of the statute, legislative history, and prior executive practice as well. Further, the President did not satisfy the critical prerequisite Congress attached to his suspension authority: Before blocking entry, he must first make a legally sufficient finding that the entry of the specified individuals would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The Proclamation once again conflicts with the INA’s prohibition on nationality-based discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas.”
The ruling continued, reminding President Trump that he does not have the power to do whatever he likes without being checked.
“The Government argues that the President, at any time and under any circumstances, could bar entry of all aliens from any country, and intensifies the consequences of its position by saying that no federal court—not a federal district court, nor our court of appeals, nor even the Supreme Court itself—would have Article III jurisdiction to review that matter because of the consular nonreviewability doctrine. Particularly in the absence of an explicit jurisdiction-stripping provision, we doubt whether the Government’s position could be adopted without running roughshod over the principles of separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.”
The court explained that “it cannot be in the public interest that a portion of this country be made to live in fear.” The limited injunction blocks the ban with regards to “foreign nationals who have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”