dglobalnews.com Judge Sides With Trump Administration, Refuses To Block Travel Ban
Published: Sun, March 26, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

Judge Sides With Trump Administration, Refuses To Block Travel Ban

Judge Sides With Trump Administration, Refuses To Block Travel Ban

The ban on large electronic devices, announced Tuesday, failed to trigger widespread condemnation and litigation the way Trump's March 6 executive order against travel from six Muslim-majority countries did.

The losses forced Trump to significantly revise his initial executive order.

The Virginia case was brought by Linda Sarsour, a well-known Muslim activist from Brooklyn, New York, and national co-chair of the Women's March on Washington that took place the day after Trump's inauguration.

All three rulings are only temporary decisions as cases over the constitutionality of the travel ban go through the courts.

So, if the travel ban is unconstitutional - as several courts have now held - because it allegedly discriminates against Muslims, because Trump and others have made statements about targeting Muslims, and because the administration has not articulated a clear statement of a strong security-based need for the travel restriction, the laptop ban arguably should be vulnerable to the same challenges.

Trenga placed great weight on the significant changes made between the first and second executive orders on the issue and concluded that the executive order likely did fall within the president's authority.

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Trenga did note that the intent of the President's order can be examined: "T$3 he Court rejects the [administration's] position that since President Trump has offered a legitimate, rational, and non-discriminatory objective stated in EO-2, this Court must confine its analysis of the constitutional validity of EO-2 to the four corners of the Order". In his Friday opinion, Trenga called the first version of the travel ban "a facially discriminatory order coupled with contemporaneous statements suggesting discriminatory intent".

"Policies like that one, justified with respect to a particular (even if unspecified) new threat, implemented without accompanying statements of animus towards Islam, and in harmony with Congressional policies and the policies of our allies, raise no constitutional concerns", Neal Katyal, a lawyer for Hawaii, said in the filing. The White House has appealed the injunction in Maryland. The revised order halted admissions of refugees for 120 days, but it no longer banned Syrian refugees indefinitely and didn't favor Christians. It also spells out the administration's justification for the ban and does not seek cancellation of existing visas, as the original order did.

"The fact that the White House took the highly irregular step of first introducing the travel ban without receiving the input and judgment of the relevant national security agencies strongly suggests that the religious objective was primary and the national security goal, even if legitimate, is a secondary, post hoc rationale", Chuang wrote. These two past decisions keep the order at bay. "We're confident that the president's fully lawful and necessary action will ultimately be allowed to move forward through the rest of the court system".

"Despite these changes, the history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the goal of the Second Executive Order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban", said Chuang, who is based in Maryland.

Of course, lawyers from the Justice Department praised Trenga's ruling.

For more news, visit Bloomberg.

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