9th Circuit rules against third travel ban

Immigration Law

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump. Shutterstock.com

Once again, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Trump administration attempt to restrict travel from six Muslim-majority nations.

“We conclude that the president’s issuance of the proclamation once again exceeds the scope of his delegated authority,” the court wrote in a per curiam opinion.

“The proclamation, like its predecessor executive orders, relies on the premise that the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) vested the president with broad powers to regulate the entry of aliens,” the court wrote. “Those powers, however, are not without limit.”

The San Francisco-based court, however, stayed its decision in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent orders letting the travel ban take full effect.

The ruling (PDF) late Friday said that the travel ban should not prevent individuals from Iran, Libya, Chad, Syria, Somalia and Yemen with “bona fide” ties to the United States from traveling here. These could be either close relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins as well as people with a “formal, documented” and ordinary relationship with a U.S. entity such as a university.

The full travel ban also applies to nationals of North Korea and to certain people from Venezuela, but the Hawaii district court did not block that part of the ban.

In so ruling, the appeals court rejected several arguments that the decision was legally unreviewable, noting that such an argument “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.” It also declined to reach an argument that the travel ban violates the First Amendment by discriminating against Muslims.

The panel was made of Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez.

The case is Hawaii v. Trump.

The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard a separate case related to the ban—International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump—earlier this month.

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