The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday largely upheld a nationwide block on President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
It’s expected that the Trump administration will appeal the 4th Circuit’s ruling to the Supreme Court.
The ban was Trump’s second stab at an executive order halting travel from certain majority-Muslim countries.
In his opinion, the 4th Circuit’s chief judge, Roger Gregory, wrote that although the president has been granted broad power by Congress to deny entry to foreign visitors, “that power is not absolute.”
“It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation,” Gregory wrote.
The ruling comes after a federal judge in Maryland issued an injunction in March, arguing in his ruling that Trump’s executive order was a fulfillment of Trump’s campaign pledge to ban Muslims from entering the country.
Lawyers for the Trump administration had argued to the Virginia-based 4th Circuit that comments Trump made while he was campaigning should not be considered when weighing his executive order.
“This is not a Muslim ban. Its text doesn’t have anything to do with religion. It’s operation doesn’t have anything to do with religion,” acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall told the court earlier this month.
Trump’s signed his original travel ban Jan. 27, which suspended entry for people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia, and barred all Syrian refugees.
The order triggered mass chaos and protests at airports across the country, as even visa holders and permanent residents were detained and denied entry by customs officials.
When that ban was blocked by the courts, Trump issued a revised executive order that removed Iraq from the list of countries, and allowed some exceptions for the entry of visitors from the remaining majority-Muslim countries. The order also removed the shutdown on Syrian refugee admissions.