Trump’s revised, March 6 order — currently blocked by courts — aimed to temporarily suspend entry of nationals from six Muslim-majority nations, including Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
The order was Trump’s second effort to impose travel restrictions into the US. The first, issued on January 27, led to chaos and protests at airports before being blocked by courts.
In May the US Appeals Court refused to reinstate the temporary travel ban.
The decision, written by Chief Judge Roger Gregory, condemned Mr Trump’s executive order in forceful terms, saying it uses “vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination”.
In a 10 to three ruling, a majority of judges on the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the challengers to the ban, including refugee groups and individuals, were likely to succeed on their claim the order violates the US Constitution’s bar on favouring one religion over another.
Citing statements made by Mr Trump during his presidential election campaign calling for a “Muslim ban”, Judge Gregory wrote that a reasonable observer would likely conclude that the order’s “primary purpose is to exclude persons from the US on the basis of their religious beliefs”.
The Trump administration has argued that the temporary travel ban is a national security measure aimed at preventing Islamist militant attacks.
More to follow…