President Donald Trump’s highly controversial travel ban on citizens from Muslim countries returns to court after months of being shut down after having been declared as “illegal and unconstitutional."
On Monday (May 8), the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., has decided to listen to new arguments in regards to the legality of his newly revised executive order to ban citizens from majority Muslim nations from entering the United States. The ban has been revised from its original incarnation after it removed Iraq from the list of six countries consisting of Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. This will be the first time an appeals court will have a chance to hear both sides of the argument about the ban.
The order was blocked because his ban includes legal, permanent citizens of the U.S. who have green cards. When meeting with the appeals court on Monday, the Trump Administration hopes to convince the court that the travel ban for the purposes of national security and not because of “religious animus.”
Despite the recent revision, many immigrant advocates, refugee aid groups, and activists across the country are not swayed and continue to fight against his discriminatory order.
"President Trump publicly committed himself to an indefensible goal: banning Muslims from coming to the United States," wrote lawyers for the International Refugee Assistance Project.
Omar Jadwat, the director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, argues that Trump wants the courts to "blind themselves to the ample, public, and uncontested evidence" that his travel ban actively discriminates Muslim citizens purely because of their religion.
"The basic question in this case is whether the mountain of evidence that exists as to the improper motive is going to be looked at by this court or swept under the rug," he says.
Per NPR, Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall argues that the court has no need to go any deeper into President Trump or his adviser’s inflammatory statements, “because national security alone is a legitimate basis for the travel ban.”
On the flipside, they also report that after 42 former national security officials each filed their own court brief, they have all disagreed with the Trump Administration. They each declared that there is no legitimate reason for the ban and “not a single American has died in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil at the hands of someone from those six nations in the past 40 years.”
When this case wraps up, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing similar arguments in regards its related case in Hawaii on May 15. A ruling is not expected for May 8th’s case.
It is highly possible that Trump’s executive order will eventually go to the Supreme Court for a final resolution.