Another US appeals court rules against Trump's revised travel ban

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump suffered another legal setback on Monday as a second federal appeals court refused to revive his travel ban on people entering the United States from six Muslim-majority nations in a dispute headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals used narrow grounds to reject the Trump administration's bid to undo a Hawaii federal judge's decision blocking the temporary ban. It said the president's March 6 order violated existing immigration law, but the three-judge panel did not address whether it was unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims.

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People protest U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder
A man holds an umbrella during a protest of U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder
A protester from Amnesty International rallies against U.S. President Donald Trump's new executive order temporarily banning the entry of refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries in Sydney, Australia, March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Demonstrator protests against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban outside the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
A woman protests against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder
Chrissy Pearce protests outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse in San Francisco, California February 7, 2017, ahead of the Court hearing arguments regarding President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries. REUTERS/Noah Berger
Demonstrators protest against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban outside the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
Demonstrators protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's revised travel ban outside the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Protestors rally in front of the Trump Building on Wall Street during a protest against the Trump administration's proposed travel ban and refugee policies, March 28, 2017 in New York City. The Trump administration's proposed travel ban includes a provision that would bar refugees entry into the United States for 120 days. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Protestors place photographs of refugees in rafts in front of the Trump Building on Wall Street during a protest against the Trump administration's proposed travel ban and refugee policies, March 28, 2017 in New York City. The Trump administration's proposed travel ban includes a provision that would bar refugees entry into the United States for 120 days. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Demonstrators gather near The White House to protest President Donald Trump's travel ban on six Muslim countries on March 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Tasos Katopodis (Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gather near The White House to protest President Donald Trump's travel ban on six Muslim countries on March 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Tasos Katopodis (Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Rosalie Gurna, 9, holds a sign in support of Muslim family members as people protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on Muslim majority countries, at the International terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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A second court, the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on May 25 upheld a Maryland judge's ruling that also blocked Trump's 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The 4th Circuit had ruled that the ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination" aimed at Muslims.

The 9th Circuit largely left in place a nationwide injunction by Judge Derrick Watson that stopped parts of the order, which Trump said was urgently needed to prevent terrorism in the United States. That ruling came in a lawsuit challenging the ban brought by the state of Hawaii, which stated the ban would harm its universities and tourism industry.

SEE ALSO: Susan Rice slams Trump's 'travel ban' proposal

Even before Monday's ruling, the case was on the fast track to the Supreme Court, where the administration on June 1 filed an emergency request seeking to reinstate the order and hear its appeal of the 4th Circuit ruling. The Supreme Court could act on the administration's request as soon as this week.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the administration is reviewing Monday's decision and expressed continued confidence that the order is fully lawful and ultimately will be upheld by the Supreme Court.

"I think we can all attest that these are very dangerous times and we need every available tool at our disposal to prevent terrorists from entering the United States and committing acts of bloodshed and violence," Spicer told a briefing.

The 9th Circuit upheld the block on Trump's three-month travel ban for the six countries and four-month suspension of all refugee admissions. But the court pared back part of Watson's injunction in order to allow the government to conduct internal reviews on vetting procedures for these travelers.

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People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!
The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.
The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!
In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!
.@foxandfriends Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors. They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals.
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The administration said the travel ban was needed to allow time to implement stronger vetting procedures.

Rather than focusing on Trump campaign statements as the Virginia-based court did, the 9th Circuit said the language in the executive order itself did not make a rational case for why a travelban was needed.

"The order does not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality," the court wrote, referring the combined populations of the six countries.

'ATTRACTIVE WAY'

Under immigration law, the administration was required to make findings that entry of the people in question would be detrimental to the United States but failed to do so, the court said.

Stephen Vladeck, a professor at University of Texas School of Law, said the 9th Circuit provided an easier path for the Supreme Court to keep the travel ban on hold, because it avoided entirely the controversy over Trump's campaign statements.

"It provides a very attractive way to leave the injunction in place without setting broader doctrinal rules about which they may have pause," Vladeck said.

SEE ALSO: CNN's Reza Aslan under fire for response to Trump's 'travel ban'

Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

Monday was the deadline for the ban's challengers to respond to the administration's request that the order be allowed to go into effect. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents people challenging the ban in the separate Maryland suit handled by the 4th Circuit, filed court papers urging the court not to review that case, saying the ban will become moot on Wednesday, 90 days from when Trump issued the order.

Lawyers for Hawaii said in court papers filed on Monday that his executive order was a "thinly veiled Muslim ban."

The March ban was Trump's second effort to impose travel restrictions through an executive order. The first, issued on Jan. 27, led to chaos and protests at airports and in various cities before being blocked by the courts. The second order was intended to overcome the legal issues posed by the original ban, but was blocked by judges before it could go into effect on March 16.

The suits by Hawaii and the Maryland challengers argued that the order violated federal immigration law and a section of the Constitution's First Amendment, which prohibits the government from favoring or disfavoring any particular religion.

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Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Pro-Trump demonstrators yell slogans during protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
A counter demonstrator holds a sign up as protesters gather in Battery Park and march to the offices of Customs and Border Patrol in Manhattan to protest President Trump's Executive order imposing controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, January 29, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators watch from an overpass as a counter-protester holds a sign outside Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order blocking visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Court decisions temporarily blocked the U.S. administration from enforcing parts of Trump's order after a day in which students, refugees and dual citizens were stuck overseas or detained and some businesses warned employees from those countries not to risk leaving the United States. Photographer: Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A counter-protester, right, holds a sign and chants in front of other demonstrators outside Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order blocking visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Court decisions temporarily blocked the U.S. administration from enforcing parts of Trump's order after a day in which students, refugees and dual citizens were stuck overseas or detained and some businesses warned employees from those countries not to risk leaving the United States. Photographer: Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

A demonstrator in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rallies at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2017.

(REUTERS/Ringo Chiu)

Trump supporters demonstrate against a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle that grants a nationwide temporary restraining order against the presidential order to ban travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on February 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Arriving international travelers pass through a line of Trump supporters demonstrating against a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle that grants a nationwide temporary restraining order against the presidential order to ban travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on February 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Trump supporters argue with a man (R) who supports a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle that grants a nationwide temporary restraining order against the presidential order to ban travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on February 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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Hawaii's court papers mentioned a series of Twitter posts Trump made on June 5, after the administration sought Supreme Court intervention. Trump described the order as a "watered down, politically correct" version of his original one.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley in Washington and Dan Levine In San Francisco; Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)

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