Fourth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Travel Ban Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today heard oral arguments in the case of International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump. This case is an appeal from a US District Court case in Maryland partially granting a temporary injunction against President Trump's recent immigration order dealing with immigration from six predominantly Muslim Middle Eastern and North African countries. President Trump’s revised order, signed March 6, attempts to limit and prohibit people from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Plaintiffs in the action are challenging the order on First Amendment grounds. They are asserting that the order violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. For its part, the federal government is defending the order, saying that it is an acceptable exercise of federal and executive authority and necessary for the the protection of homeland security. The judges at the argument seemed skeptical of this rationale and focused on statements made by President Trump during his presidential campaign and by his spokesman even after the signing of this order. The full hearing can be heard on C-Span here.