Appeals court rules that Trump’s third travel ban is illegal

Another legal setback for Trump.

Mana Rostami-Mouripour, left, and Sara Sluszka, right, both of Seattle, hold signs that read "No Muslim Ban Ever," during a protest, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle. (CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Mana Rostami-Mouripour, left, and Sara Sluszka, right, both of Seattle, hold signs that read "No Muslim Ban Ever," during a protest, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle. (CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled that Trump’s travel ban, the third he has proposed since becoming president, is illegal.

The third travel ban, issued in September, imposed “indefinite and significant restrictions and limitations on entry of nationals” from seven countries —  Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

From the decision:

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 decision takes direct aim at Trump’s claim that, as President, he can do whatever he’d like with regard to banning people from any country for any reason.

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 also takes on the xenophobia underlying Trump’s order:

In assessing the public interest, we are reminded of Justice Murphy’s wise words: “All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land.” Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 242 (Murphy, J., dissenting). It cannot be in the public interest that a portion of this country be made to live in fear.

The court issued a limited injunction blocking the ban as it applies to “foreign nationals who have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The full ruling is available here.

This is a breaking news post and will be updated.