Ahmed Khalil, an Egyptian national residing in the United States, hugs his daughters as they arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport after the Trump administration's travel ban was allowed back into effect on June 29, 2017.
James Lawler Duggan—Reuters
By Bloomberg
February 15, 2018

Another federal appeals court ruled President Donald Trump’s most recent attempt to restrict travel to America from six mostly Muslim countries is probably unconstitutional.

That decision was issued Thursday by a U.S. Court of Appeals panel in Richmond, Virginia, and immediately put on hold pending Supreme Court review. The justices had already agreed to consider the administration’s appeal of a related ruling rendered by a San Francisco-based federal appeals court.

Thirteen judges heard argument in the Richmond case pressed by two refugee resettlement groups and other people and allied organizations on Dec. 8. Nine of them concurred that those suing were likely to prevail on their argument the ban disfavors Muslims, violating religious protections in the U.S. Constitution.

This is the third time the president has attempted to enact such restrictions. The latest version bars or limits entry by people from Iran, Syria, Chad, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. The ban also blocks people from North Korea and a handful of Venezuelan government officials, though those aspects of the policy aren’t at issue in the high court case.

The Supreme Court justices let it take full effect in December pending their ultimate determination.

The case is International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, 17-2231, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit (Richmond).

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