Trump’s Travel Ban Fails in 9th Circuit Court

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, making their decision this Monday. This is the second time that Trump’s travel ban has been rejected by a U.S. Court of Appeals.



The 90-day travel ban, proposed by the U.S. President, would prevent people from Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering into the United States.



The panel, composed of three judges, ruled that Trump’s order issued on March 6 fails to conform to existing immigration law. What were the reasons behind the panel’s ruling?



The court ruled that the President lacked sufficient reasons for his claim that people from these nations were “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Moreover, the court ruled that the Immigration and Nationality Act disallows discrimination on the basis of Nationality alone.



In the published opinion, the court pointed out that of the named countries, only one citizen had been formally charged with attempted terrorism. In 2014, a Somalian-born naturalized citizen was captured for attempting to use explosives to commit a terrorist attack at a Christmas celebration in Portland, Oregon. Two other examples of Iraqi nationals were mentioned, but Iraq is no longer among the listed countries, as Trump has withdrawn their name from the list given the presently positive state of the relations between the United States and Iraq.



The court opined that the Executive Order fails to provide examples of any terrorist activities committed by people coming from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen.



The court said nothing about whether the ruling was unconstitutional on the basis of religious discrimination, but merely claimed that the Executive Order lacked sufficient grounds for evoking the travel ban.



The court further cited Trumps June 5 tweet as part of their reasoning for the claim. Trump wrote: “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!” The court, in turn, responded that the Executive Order “does not provide any link between an individual’s nationality and their propensity to commit terrorism or their inherent dangerousness.”



The decision was unanimous.


Supreme Court Rules Against Deportation Provision for Unwed Mothers

The US Supreme Court decided last Monday that gender-based distinctions in the Immigration and Nationality Act were unconstitutional. The court held with a unanimous ruling of 8-0 that the provision violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fifth Amendment, which protects against such gender-based discrimination.



Before the ruling, the Immigration and Nationality Act would grant the children of U.S. Citizens the right of citizenship if they lived in the domestic United States for ten years prior to their birth. This applies to both fathers and to married couples. However, the law makes a provision for unwed American mothers, granting their children citizenship even if they have only been in the United States for a year prior to the child’s birth.



This means that the same protection isn’t guaranteed to children born to foreign mothers, which Morales-Santana wished to contest. The father of Morales-Santana is an American citizen, but his mother was a citizen of the Dominican Republic. When deportation procedures were set into motion to remove Morales-Santana from the United States, he argued that this law violated the equal protection clause.



The Supreme Court agreed with Morales-Santana, ruling that the law in its present form is unconstitutional. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opined: “We hold that the gender line Congress drew is incompatible with the requirement that the Government accord to all persons ‘the equal protection of the laws.”



However, the court did not decide that fathers should also be guaranteed one year protection of citizenship for their unwed children. This decision remains in the hands of Congress, who will have to divine a law to govern future immigration cases. What happens until such a law is passed? The court opined: “In the interim, the Government must ensure that the laws in question are administered in a manner free from gender-based discrimination.”


Since the provision for mothers was a provision to the existing law, the court ruled not to extend the provision, even though one typically would resolve such an issue by extending the advantage to the disadvantaged party. Despite the court’s ruling in his favor, Morales-Santana will be deported.