Trump's General Pershing Remarks Cited in Travel Ban Case Ruling

Trump's General Pershing Remarks Cited in Travel Ban Case Ruling

The long and winding road to the resolution of legal challenges to the president's third travel ban stopped briefly at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed a district court's ruling that the ban violated the U.S. Constitution's establishment clause by discriminating against Muslims. The Supreme Court issued an order on December 4 allowing the ban to go fully into effect while the appeals in the 9th Circuit and the 4th Circuit went forward. From a more practical point of view, the Fourth Circuit's action probably ensures the Supreme Court will consider both statutory and constitutional arguments against the ban. Trump tweaked the order after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reinstate the ban.

The 9 to 4 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va., took a deep dive into Trump's statements and tweets since he became president and concluded that the third iteration of his proclamation, like the first two, was motivated not by national security concerns but by antipathy toward Muslims.

"Plaintiffs offer undisputed evidence that the President of the United States has openly and often expressed his desire to ban those of Islamic faith from entering the United States", 4th Circuit Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote in a majority opinion.

In addition to the Pershing tweet, the judges also mentioned Trump's November 2017 retweets of videos titled, "Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary", "Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death" and "Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches". Instead, it argues that the "statements that occurred after the issuance of [executive order 2] do not reflect any religious animus" but reflect "the compelling secular goal of protecting national security from an amply-documented present threat".

En banc 4th Circuit says Trump's latest travel...

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Judge Paul Niemeyer, one of the dissenters, denounced his colleagues' "bold effort to second-guess US foreign policy and, in particular, the president's discretionary decisions on immigration, implicating matters of national security".

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Paul Niemeyer said the 4th Circuit's ruling was an attempt to "second-guess US foreign policy, in particular, the president's discretionary decisions on immigration, implicating matters of national security".

The International Refugee Assistance Project, one of the groups challenging the ban, said the policy has had a "devastating impact" on USA families waiting to reunite with their family members and foreign students seeking educational opportunities in the U.S.

On February 15, a court declared President Donald Trump's travel ban unconstitutional, citing a tweet he posted about General John Pershing, pictured here giving a broadcast in 1940. "It's no surprise", ACLU lawyer Cecillia Wang said.

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