President Trump’s latest travel ban order suffered another legal blow as a second federal appeals court weighed in against the legality of the directive. A three-judge 9th Circuit panel unanimously turned down an administration request to lift an injunction blocking key parts of Trump’s revised order from taking effect, reports Politico. Trump “exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress” to oversee immigration, the court said in an opinion jointly issued by Judges Michael Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez, all appointees of President Bill Clinton. “Immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show….National security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power under” federal immigration law, the judges wrote.
The ruling came as the Supreme Court is deliberating whether to step into the high-profile legal dispute. Experts said tweaks the 9th Circuit made to the injunction it considered makes it more likely the justices will leave the lower court orders in place. Last month, another federal appeals court—the 4th Circuit—also rebuffed Trump’s effort to move forward with the directive, which he contends is an anti-terrorism measure. While the 4th Circuit said Trump’s orders were unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims, the new 9th Circuit ruling resolved the case on narrower grounds: namely, that the facts the president marshaled in his orders are too flimsy to meet the standard that immigration laws require to implement a halt to visa issuance for nationals of particular countries. The judges turned to a notable source: a tweet Trump sent a week ago. “That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!” Trump said June 5.