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Trump Immigration Order Dealt More Setbacks By US Courts

Trump Immigration Order Dealt More Setbacks By US Courts”

A U.S. district judge in Virginia has ruled that President Donald Trump's executive order barring entry from seven countries is unconstitutional.

Judge Leonie Brinkema found that Trump's executive order discriminates against Muslims, thus violating the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge James Robart - who issued the temporary restraining order at the request of Washington state and Minnesota on February 4 - rejected the U.S. Justice Department's request to pause the underlying case in lower court while the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether a larger, 11-judge panel will review the case.

Brinkema's opinion - the nation's first preliminary injunction against the president's action - comes four days after a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling enjoining enforcement of the executive order. "The president connected that policy to this EO when, asked last July if he had abandoned his plan for a Muslim ban, he responded, 'Call it whatever you want'". The ban is directed at seven Muslim-majority countries. An earlier ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocks the ban nationwide.

The order already has been blocked by USA courts on the west coast, but a US district court hearing a challenge to the order from the US state of Virginia also issued a preliminary injunction against parts of the order late on February 13.

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who argued the case against the ban, praised the judge's decision saying "the overwhelming evidence shows that this ban was conceived in religious bigotry".

In her 22-page ruling, the Virginia judge cited several of Mr Trump's campaign statements including those in which he promised to create a "Muslim ban" if he were elected president.

"Maximum power does not mean absolute power", she wrote.

The commonwealth joined the pre-existing Aziz v. Trump case, which centered on two Yemeni green card holders denied entry to the USA and apparently coerced into signing away their green cards at Dulles International Airport. She issued a temporary restraining order to halt for a week the removal of people with green cards who were detained at Washington Dulles International Airport.



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