President Trump’s revised travel ban executive order suffered another legal defeat yesterday, prompting the administration to vow an appeal to the Supreme Court, Politico reports. In a 10-3 vote that broke essentially along party lines, judges of the Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn a lower court ruling that halted Trump’s plan to deny visas to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries. Chief Judge Roger Gregory said the order was unconstitutional because it was deeply imbued with bias against Muslims — hostility the court identified as a staple of Trump’s campaign trail rhetoric. “From the highest elected office in the nation has come an Executive Order steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group,” Gregory wrote in an opinion endorsed by six of his colleagues.
Dissenters joined in a trio of opinions warning that the court’s majority was putting public safety at risk by interfering with the judgment of executive branch officials and the agility of the government’s response to the terrorist threat. “As the end of the day, the real losers in this case are the millions of individual Americans whose security is threatened on a daily basis by those who seek to do us harm,” wrote Judge Dennis Shedd. “The security of our nation is indisputably lessened as a result of the injunction. Moreover, the President and his national security advisors (and perhaps future Presidents) will be seriously hampered in their ability to exercise their ability to exercise their constitutional duty to protect this country.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his department “strongly disagrees with the decision of the divided court … from danger, and will seek review of this case in the United States Supreme Court.”