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US court blocks Trumps ‘Muslim ban’ for the second time

May 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Protesters march against the ‘Muslim Ban’ in New York, US on 4 February 2017 [Alisdare Hickson/Flickr]

US appeals court judge has blocked President Donald Trump’s revised travel stating that it “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination”.

Trump’s second attempt to reinstate the “Muslim ban” was voted down 10-3 by the appeals court in the state of Virginia stating it was rooted in “intolerance”.

In the 67 page decision, written by Chief Judge Roger Gregory, Trump’s executive order was described as using “vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination”.

The statement provides a detailed account of 17 months of statements and tweets by Trump leading up to the travel ban. Beginning with his statement made during the 2016 election campaign which called for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslims entering America.

Read: With the Muslim ban, Trump poses a threat to the US constitution

Reviewing the comments Judge Gregory wrote that a reasonable observer would likely conclude the order’s “primary purpose is to exclude persons from the United States on the basis of their religious beliefs”.

Trump’s administration argued the court should not look beyond the text of the executive order, which doesn’t mention religion. The countries were not chosen because they are predominantly Muslim, but because they present “terrorism” risks, the administration claimed.

The appeals court was reviewing a March ruling by a federal judge that blocked part of Trump’s 6 March executive order barring people from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days while the government put in place stricter visa screening.

The second order was intended to overcome the legal issues posed by the original ban, but it was blocked by judges before it could go into effect on 16 March.

A similar ruling against Trump’s policy from a Hawaii-based federal judge is still in place and will be reviewed by the US Court of Appeals.