3/24/17, "Virginia federal judge rules in favor of Trump's travel ban," LA Times, Jaweed Kaleem
"Unlike federal judges before him, a judge in Virginia on Friday ruled in favor of President Trump’s
revised travel ban in a case brought by Muslims who said the
president’s executive order illegally discriminated against their
religion by restricting travel from six majority-Muslim countries.
District Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District Court of Virginia
in Alexandria wrote that the plaintiffs, the Council on
American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim community leaders from
across the country, probably would not prevail in their suit.
Trenga said the travel ban likely “falls within the bounds” of
Trump’s authority as president, and he rejected a request to halt the
Trenga’s ruling doesn’t have an immediate effect on the
ban, which was put on hold by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland last
week. But it gives ammunition to government lawyers arguing for the ban
across several U.S. courts where cases against it are pending.
The Hawaii and Maryland rulings agreed with arguments that the travel
ban violated the Constitution by discriminating against Muslims. The
judges cited statements by Trump and his campaign associates about
restricting Muslim travel to the U.S. as evidence of their intent to
single out followers of Islam.
gave less weight to Trump’s statements. It more strictly looked at how
the travel ban is worded in light of presidential power over immigration
and national security.
The judge highlighted the changes made to
narrow the scope of the travel ban after an initial version of the order
was struck down by federal courts in January and February. Changes in
the new version included omitting Iraq from the list of countries whose
travelers would be blocked and removing preferential treatment of
refugees who were religious minorities.
The Department of Justice, which is defending the Trump administration in court, hailed Trenga’s move.
Department of Justice is pleased with the ruling,” department
spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. “As the Court
correctly explains, the president’s executive order falls well within
his authority to safeguard the nation’s security.”
travel ban, signed Jan. 27, was halted by federal district courts and
the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The new ban, signed March 6 and
scheduled to go into effect March 16, was modified in an attempt to pass
The Maryland ruling stopped the revised executive
order’s 90-day ban on travel into the U.S. by citizens of Iran, Libya,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The Hawaii ruling went a step
further by also blocking a 120-day pause on refugee resettlement from
any country. It also blocked the government’s attempt to cap refugee
resettlement and the compiling of a series of government studies and
reports on how refugees and foreign visitors to the U.S. are vetted.
rulings, as well as the one Friday in Virginia, are not final but
temporary decisions on the travel ban as the cases over its
The Department of Justice has appealed
the Maryland decision to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals but has
not appealed in the Hawaii case.
Trump has said he wants to take arguments over the travel ban to the Supreme Court."
3/24/17, "Virginia court gives Trump his first win on updated travel ban," aol.com, Grant Suneson
"After two federal courts stalled his renewed attempt at a travel ban, President Trump finally has a judge on his side.
Judge Anthony Trenga of Virginia ruled in favor
of Trump's plan. The order bars refugees from entering America for 120
days and blocks all people from six Muslim-majority countries for 90
Judges in Maryland and Hawaii wrote that Trump's order
didn't seem to be in response to any specific threat. They also noted
that since Trump called for a Muslim ban while campaigning, his order
violated freedom of religion.
But Trenga said only the order itself
should be up for review by the courts — not the president's past
comments. And since the president does have authority to halt
immigration, he ruled Trump's order should go into effect.
doesn't overturn the previous rulings that froze the executive order.
But it does give the Trump administration support in the lower courts
and bolsters its case if the travel ban goes to the Supreme Court."