EU May Continue To Ban Travelers From US Due To COVID-19 Failure

The Supreme Court declined to strike down a federal requirement of face masks during air travel

This probably explains why my cruise set to sail in August was canceled today.

From the New York Times:

European Union countries rushing to revive their economies and reopen their borders after months of coronavirus restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the scourge, according to draft lists of acceptable travelers reviewed by The New York Times.

That prospect, which would lump American visitors in with Russians and Brazilians as unwelcome, is a stinging blow to American prestige in the world and a repudiation of President Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States, which has more than 2.3 million cases and upward of 120,000 deaths, more than any other country.

European nations are currently haggling over two potential lists of acceptable visitors based on how countries are faring with the coronavirus pandemic. Both lists include China, as well as developing nations like Uganda, Cuba and Vietnam. Both also exclude the United States and other countries that were deemed too risky because of the spread of the virus.

Officials say the list will be revised every two weeks accordingly to reflect updated information and status of countries.

Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban

The U. S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban in a 5-4 decision.

From The New York Times:

Just a week after he took office, Mr. Trump issued his first travel ban, causing chaos at the nation’s airports and starting a cascade of lawsuits and appeals. The first ban, drafted in haste, was promptly blocked by courts around the nation.

A second version, issued two months later, fared little better, although the Supreme Court allowed part of it go into effect last June when it agreed to hear the Trump administration’s appeals from court decisions blocking it. But the Supreme Court dismissed those appeals in October after the second ban expired.

In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to Mr. Trump’s third and most considered entry ban, issued as a presidential proclamation in September. It initially restricted travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim — Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. Chad was later removed from the list.

The restrictions varied in their details, but, for the most part, citizens of the countries were forbidden from emigrating to the United States and many of them are barred from working, studying or vacationing here.

California Bans Official Travel To Oklahoma Over Anti-LGBT Law

On Friday, the first day of Pride Month 2018, the state of California announced that there will be no state-funded travel to yet another state thanks to recently passed anti-LGBT legislation.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has issued a statement that his state will ban state-sponsored travel to Oklahoma thanks to the Sooner State’s latest anti-LGBT legislation.

Under a 2017 California law, the state’s attorney general is required by to keep a list of all states subject to a travel ban because of “laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

California Secretary of State Xavier Becerra

Last month, Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law anti-LGBT legislation that allows adoption and foster care agencies to reject same-sex couples on the grounds of religious beliefs.

“California taxpayers are taking a stand against bigotry and in support of those who would be harmed by this prejudiced policy,” said Becerra.

Michael McNutt, a spokesperson for Fallin, slapped back at Becerra in a statement which read in part, “With our state’s economy being as strong as it is, we won’t miss a few Californians traveling on state business showing up in our state.”

Oklahoma becomes the ninth state to fall under California’s 2017 travel ban law.

Kansas enacted similar legislation the same week as Oklahoma, but the Sunflower State was already on California’s banned list (along with Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and South Dakota) due to a 2016 law that allows campus religious groups to exclude LGBT students.

June 22 is the date California’s ban on Oklahoma travel goes into effect.

(h/t Instinct)

Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Trump Travel Ban

The Trump administration is heading to a showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court over Donald Trump’s third attempt to limit travel from certain countries based on national security concerns.

SCOTUS announced today the high court will hear oral arguments in the spring with a decision due by June.

From The New York Times:

The case concerns Mr. Trump’s third and most considered bid to make good on a campaign promise to secure the nation’s borders. But challengers to the latest ban, issued as a presidential proclamation in September, said it was tainted by religious animus and not adequately justified by national security concerns.

The decision to hear the case, Trump v. Hawaii, No. 17-965, came almost a year after the first travel ban, issued a week after Mr. Trump took office, caused chaos at the nation’s airports and was promptly blocked by courts around the nation. A second version of the ban, issued in March, fared little better, though the Supreme Court allowed part of it go into effect in June when it agreed to hear the Trump administration’s appeals in two cases.

The ban restricts travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim. For now, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be barred from entering the United States, along with some groups of people from Venezuela.

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Review Trump Muslim Travel Ban

The Supreme Court announced today that it will review the constitutionality of President Trump’s revised Muslim travel ban this fall.

The decision includes allowing part of the ban to go into effect.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump’s revised executive order, issued in March, limited travel from six mostly Muslim countries for 90 days and suspended the nation’s refugee program for 120 days. The time was needed, the order said, to address gaps in the government’s screening and vetting procedures.

Two federal appeals courts have blocked critical parts of the order.

The administration had asked that the the lower-court ruling be stayed while the case moves forward. The court granted part of that request in its unsigned opinion.

“We grant the government’s applications to stay the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of” Mr. Trump’s executive order “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ruled last month that the limits on travel from the six countries violated the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion. Relying on Mr. Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign, where he called for a “Muslim ban,” the court said the order “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, recently blocked both the limits on travel and the suspension of the refugee program. It ruled on statutory rather than constitutional grounds, saying Mr. Trump had exceeded the authority granted him by Congress.

So, if you are a foreign national in one of those six Muslim-majority countries with a close family member in the United States, or a job offer from an American company, or an invitation to lecture an American audience, or an offer of admission from an American university, you can obtain a visa.

If you have no concrete ties or true business connection to the U.S., the Trump ban can keep you out of the U.S.

What I don’t understand is: the purpose of the ban was to give the Trump administration 90 days to examine immigration processes. I’m assuming they’ve been doing this review anyway? By October we’ll be long past 90 days. By October shouldn’t the review be concluded and immigration rules adjusted?

9th Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules Against Trump’s Travel Ban

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with the 4th Circuit Court that President Trump’s travel ban is unconstitutional.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel basically affirmed a March decision by Judge Derrick K. Watson, of the Federal District Court in Hawaii.

From the New York Times:

Like the Fourth Circuit, Judge Watson blocked major parts of the revised order on the ground that they violated the Constitution’s ban on a government establishment of religion. Judge Watson wrote that the statements of Mr. Trump and his advisers made clear that his executive order amounted to an attempt to disfavor Muslims.

“A reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the executive order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion,” Judge Watson wrote.

The 9th Circuit Court determined that President Trump exceeded the scope of his authority, writing in part, “The Immigration and Nationality Act … gives the President broad powers to control the entry of aliens, and to take actions to protect the American public. But immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show.”

Additionally, the panel of judges cite Donald Trump’s travel ban tweet, and White House spokesman Sean Spicer’s answer that Trump’s tweets are official statements. Yet another reason the Trumpster should pause before tweeting.

The ban now heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Nationwide Ban On Trump’s Travel Ban

Get ready for a new Twitter rant from Donald Trump.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Virginia, has upheld an injunction against President Trump’s travel ban from six Muslim-majority countries.

The executive order would have banned people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.

As I recall, the point of the “ban” was to give the Trump administration time to examine ways to improve national security. But, hasn’t it been more than 90 days by now anyway? Haven’t they figured out what it was they wanted to figure out?

The ruling notes that Trump’s executive order “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”

See the text below.

Jeff Sessions: “I Am Amazed That A Judge Sitting On An Island” Can Block Trump Travel Ban

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

CNN is reporting on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ frustrations with a federal judge in Hawaii who blocked President Trump’s travel ban from Muslim-majority countries.

Sessions shared his thoughts during an appearance on “The Mark Levin Show” Tuesday night.

“We’ve got cases moving in the very, very liberal Ninth Circuit, who, they’ve been hostile to the order,” Sessions said. “We won a case in Virginia recently that was a nicely-written order that just demolished, I thought, all the arguments that some of the other people have been making. We are confident that the President will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit. So this is a huge matter. I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

Last month, a federal judge in Hawaii, Judge Derrick Watson, issued an order that blocked Trump’s ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries. The Department of Justice is currently appealing the decision.

The two U.S. Senators from Hawaii didn’t take kindly to the characterization of “an island in the Pacific” by Sessions:

(h/t JoeMyGod)