The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, has upheld the freeze on President Donald Trump’s travel ban, a move that will likely send the case to the Supreme Court, The New York Times reports.
According to CNN, the 10-3 ruling upholding an earlier decision by a Maryland judge made use of Trump’s campaign comments calling for a full ban on Muslims entering the United States as evidence against the order.
“The evidence in the record, viewed from the standpoint of the reasonable observer, creates a compelling case that (the executive order's) primary purpose is religious," the ruling states. "Then-candidate Trump's campaign statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States."
Even if the Fourth Circuit had ruled in the Trump administration’s favor, the ban would have remained on hold because of an earlier ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii. The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in that case on May 15.
The revised executive order bans travel from six Muslim-majority countries -- Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya – dropping Iraq, which was part of the original ban. The new order also suspends the United States’ refugee program for 120 days, and lowers the cap on refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 per year.
Other changes: travelers from the affected countries who are legal permanent residents of the United States, dual nationals who use a passport from another country and those who have been granted asylum or refugee status are exempt from the new order. Additionally, current visa holders will be able to get into the country, although those whose visas expire will have to reapply.