Strike Three – Hawaii and Maryland Courts Block Implementation of Third Travel Ban
Protesters at the #NoMuslimBanEver march in Washington, D.C. on October 18, 2017
In September, the Administration issued a third travel ban affecting six Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Chad, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Iran), as well as North Korea and Venezuela. (You’ll recall that implementation of two former Executive Orders was largely blocked by two federal Courts of Appeals, and a hearing before the Supreme Court had been scheduled for October.) In view of the issuance of the Administration’s third Executive Order, the Supreme Court determined not to hear arguments before it on the first two orders and "vacated" lower court rulings on this subject. Nevertheless, the ban on refugees contained in the second Executive Order remains in effect through October 24th.
This week, two separate federal courts – in Hawaii and Maryland – blocked implementation of the Administration’s third Executive Order, providing different justifications. The court in Hawaii blocked implementation with respect to the six predominantly Muslim countries, finding that it "plainly discriminates on the basis of nationality" and did not demonstrate sufficient causation between nationality and the claimed national security risk. In essence, the Court said that the latest ban "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor."
The federal court in Maryland mostly blocked implementation of the of the third Executive Order on expressly constitutional grounds, ruling that the third ban was an "inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban." The Court noted that the Administration had expressly demonstrated its intention to ban Muslims by its statements on the campaign trail and subsequently while in office, and that the third Executive Order therefore violated the First Amendment and exceeded the Administration’s authority under immigration law.
Despite these three strikes, the Administration has indicated it is not "out," but will appeal these rulings as well.
For more information, click the link below:
"Federal judge blocks Trump’s third travel ban" [The Washington Post]