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Court orders dismissal of Trump Muslim travel ban challenges

A federal appeals court has ordered a lower court to toss out legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s 3-year-old ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries, finding that a judge misinterpreted a Supreme Court ruling that found the ban has a “legitimate grounding in national security concerns.”



The ban, put in place just a week after Trump took office in January 2017, sparked an international outcry from Muslim advocates and others who said it was rooted in religious bias.
A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled June 8 that a federal judge in Maryland erred when he refused to dismiss three lawsuits after the Supreme Court upheld the ban in 2018 in a separate case filed in Hawaii.

“We conclude that the district court misunderstood the import of the Supreme Court’s decision in Hawaii and the legal principles it applied,” Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote in the unanimous decision.



Justin Cox, an attorney with the International Refugee Assistance Project, the lead plaintiff in the case, said the groups who sued are considering their legal options, which could include asking the panel to reconsider its ruling, appealing to the full 4th Circuit court of 15 judges or asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.



“The panel definitely got the legal issues wrong. It seems unlikely that this will be the final word,” Cox said.
“Basically, it comes down to can the president shield obviously bigoted actions by essentially laundering them through Cabinet officials coming up with neutral-seeming criteria?” he said.
The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.



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