Trump travel ban hit by new legal setback

A US district judge in Alexandria, Va. has ruled against President Trump's executive order barring refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations, arguing that the order violates the First and Fifth Amendments and would cause irreparable injury to Virginia residents.

"Brinkema also ruled that the order was "disruptive to the operation of [Virginia's] public colleges and universities", resulting in reduced revenue, causing "'anxiety, confusion, and distress" among university personnel, and "inflaming "anti-American sentiment'" overseas.

Brinkema's ruling also differs from the previous two because it stops enforcement of the order based on a violation of the First Amendment - that it is a ban aimed specifically at Muslims - based on Trump's words on the campaign trail and since taking office.

The Monday ruling is significant from a legal standpoint because U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema found that an unconstitutional religious bias is at the heart of the travel ban, and therefore it violates First Amendment prohibitions on favoring one religion over another.

But the ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was rooted more in due process grounds, said Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat who brought the lawsuit against Trump in Virginia.




The Commonwealth of Virginia, which sought the injunction, is "likely to suffer irreparable harm" if the executive order is enforced, Brinkema ruled in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

"Maximum power does not mean absolute power", she wrote.

Tareq and Ammar Aquel Mohammed Aziz are now in the U.S.

"To the contrary, there is evidence that the president's senior national security officials were taken by surprise", she wrote. She issued a temporary restraining order to halt for a week the removal of people with green cards who were detained at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Meanwhile, in a filing to a Seattle federal court on Monday, the Department of Justice suggested it would not immediately turn to the U.S. Supreme Court to ask for the Trump administration's travel moratorium to be reinstated after an appeals court dealt it a blow last week.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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