A federal appeals court ruled against Trump’s third Muslim ban on 15th February in a 9-to-4 ruling after it was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its partner organisations on the grounds of it being unconstitutional[1]. The official ruling of the court concluded “that the Proclamation is unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam”[2]. This finding, that the ban violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which forbids religious discrimination by the government, was based largely on statements Trump made as a candidate and while in office[3].

The latest ban sought to block immigrants and temporary visitors from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea. It also sought to block certain Venezuelan government officials from entering the U.S.[4]. The ban was previously ruled against by a Maryland federal district court in October, which prompted several other appeals by the government, all of which have been overruled[5]. Despite this, a December 4th order from the Supreme Court means that the ban on immigrants and temporary visitors is in effect as the challenges are litigated[6].

[1] ACLU, 2018; ACLU, no date.

[2] ACLU, no date.

[3] Liptak, 2018.

[4] ACLU, 2018.

[5] ACLU, 2018.

[6] ACLU, 2018.

Social Share Toolbar


ACLU. (2018) ‘Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Trump Muslim Ban’. [online] 15 February. https://www.aclu.org/news/federal-appeals-court-rules-against-trump-muslim-ban. [Accessed 22 February 2018].

ACLU. (no date) ‘International Refugee Assistance Project V. Trump – Opinion’. [online] https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/international-refugee-assistance-project-v-trump-opinion-0?redirect=legal-document/fourth-circuit-court-appeals-decision. [Accessed 22 February 2018].

Liptak, A. (2018) ‘Trump’s Latest Travel Ban Suffers Blow From a Second Appeals Court’. [online] 15 February. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/us/politics/trump-travel-ban-appeals-court.html. [Accessed 22 February 2018].