Last Updated May 25, 2017 7:43 PM EDT
A federal appeals court dealt another blow to President Trump’stargeting six Muslim-majority countries on Thursday, siding with groups that say the policy illegally targets Muslims — and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he’s asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the decision.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that blocks the Republican’s administration from temporarily suspending new visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. So, this latest ruling preserves the status quo. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit is the first appeals court to rule on the revised travel ban, which Mr. Trump’s administration had hoped would avoid the legal problems that the first version encountered.
“Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens, but 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,” the chief judge of the circuit, Roger L. Gregory wrote.
Shortly after the ruling was released, Sessions said he is seeking a review of the case in the Supreme Court.
“President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe,” Sessions said in a statement. “The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the decision of the divided court, which blocks the president’s efforts to strengthen this country’s national security. As the dissenting judges explained, the executive order is a constitutional exercise of the president’s duty to protect our communities from terrorism. The president is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States.”
“This Department of Justice…