February 15, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. — In a 9-to-4 ruling, a federal appeals court today ruled against President Trump’s third Muslim ban. The American Civil Liberties Union and partner organizations are challenging the ban.

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang, who argued the case before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Virginia on December 8, had this reaction:

“President Trump’s third illegal attempt to denigrate and discriminate against Muslims through an immigration ban has failed in court yet again. It’s no surprise. The Constitution prohibits government actions hostile to a religion.”

Like the previous versions, this latest ban seeks to block immigrants and temporary visitors from six Muslim-majority countries — in this iteration, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. It also includes North Koreans and certain Venezuelan government officials. In October, a Maryland federal district court ruled against the ban taking full effect, prompting the government’s appeal.

Today’s Fourth Circuit decision follows one by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled against the latest ban on statutory grounds on December 22, and a decision the next day by a U.S. district court on a separate presidential order that was the latest attempt to ban refugee admissions. Under a December 4 order from the Supreme Court, however, the ban on immigrants and temporary visitors is in effect as the challenges are litigated.

Wang added, “We will continue this litigation until the Muslim ban is ended once and for all.”

International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump is brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, National Immigration Law Center, and the International Refugee Assistance Project, on behalf of HIAS, IRAP, the Middle East Studies Association, Yemeni American Merchants Association, and the Arab American Association of New York.

The ruling is here: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/fourth-circuit-court-appeals-decision

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