Virginia federal judge rules Trump's travel ban is justified

Harriet Sinclair
Donald Trump

A Virginia federal judge has ruled in favour of Donald Trump's travel ban.

District Court Judge Anthony Trenga's finding that the ban is justified is in direct opposition to rulings in similar cases in Hawaii and Maryland which called the order discriminatory. It is now likely that a final decision will have to be made by the Supreme Court.

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However, the March 6 travel ban, which temporarily prevents entry to the US for citizens from six Muslim majority countries, remains stayed – with two previous courts ruling in favour of an emergency halt on the ban.

Judge Trenga on Friday (24 March) rejected claims of discrimination by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). But he did acknowledge that harm had been caused to 20 people represented by the civil rights groups who said they had been unable to see family members because of the ban.

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CAIR is not set to take the case to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. A spokesperson for the group told Reuters that the 4th circuit as well as the Supreme Court "are the judicial bodies that will ultimately decide whether the Constitution protects the rights of Muslim Americans."

The ban is Trump's second attempt at postponing entry to the county for people from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya – with a previous ban blocked by the courts also including Iraq.

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However, rather than attempting to write a third executive order on the issue, Trump seems likely to take the case to the Supreme Court if the ban remains halted.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said: "We're confident that the president's fully lawful and necessary action will ultimately be allowed to move forward through the rest of the court systems."

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