Fourth Circuit to Trump: “Travel Ban Is Unconstitutional”

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued its decision today largely affirming a District Court ruling that struck down President Trump’s Executive Order Travel Ban.  Here is the opening paragraph of the opinion:

The question for this Court, distilled to its essential form, is whether the Constitution, as the Supreme Court declared in Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 120 (1866), remains “a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace.” And if so, whether it protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.

Click here to read the rest of the opinion (although the courts’ ultimate legal conclusion ought to be fairly obvious. . . .)  The case will likely end up in the Supreme Court.

UPDATE: Here’s another significant paragraph from the opinion.  It reveals the critical role that the courts will play in ensuring that the Trump administration abides by the Constitution.

The Government has repeatedly asked this Court to ignore evidence, circumscribe our own review, and blindly defer to executive action, all in the name of the Constitution’s separation of powers. We decline to do so, not only because it is the particular province of the judicial branch to say what the law is, but also because we would do a disservice to our constitutional structure were we to let its mere invocation silence the call for meaningful judicial review. The deference we give the coordinate branches is surely powerful, but even it must yield in certain circumstances, lest we abdicate our own duties to uphold the Constitution.



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