A federal appeals court on Thursday left in place the freeze on President Trump’s revised entry ban, handing the administration another legal setback in its efforts to block the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim majority countries.
The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit means the Trump administration still cannot enforce its travel order that the government says is urgently needed for national security.
In its 10 to 3 decision, the Richmond-based court said the president’s broad immigration power to deny entry into the U.S. is not absolute and sided with challengers, finding that the travel ban “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”
The president’s authority, the court said, “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,” according to the majority opinion written by Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, and joined in part by nine other judges.
The 4th Circuit declined to lift an order from a Maryland federal judge, who ruled against the travel ban in March and sided with opponents who said the ban violates the Constitution by intentionally discriminating against Muslims. The ruling leaves the injunction in place and means citizens from Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Libya can continue entering the United States.
Remember when senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller said Trump would ultimately get his travel ban, which would show “the whole world” that his awesome national security powers “will not be questioned”? — gs
* Alexandra Berzon and Rob Barry have the story of the GOP operative who worked with Russian hackers to help Republican House candidates win:
The hacking spree that upended the presidential election wasn’t limited to Democratic National Committee memos and Clinton-aide emails posted on websites. The hacker also privately sent Democratic voter-turnout analyses to a Republican political operative in Florida named Aaron Nevins.
Learning that hacker “Guccifer 2.0” had tapped into a Democratic committee that helps House candidates, Mr. Nevins wrote to the hacker to say: “Feel free to send any Florida based information.”
Ten days later, Mr. Nevins received 2.5 gigabytes of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee documents, some of which he posted on a blog called HelloFLA.com that he ran using a pseudonym…
“I did adjust some voting targets based on some data I saw from the leaks,” said Anthony Bustamante, a campaign consultant to Republican congressional candidate Brian Mast. Mr. Bustamante said the Democratic voter analyses led him to amp up some of his TV ad buys and reduce some mailed material ahead of the November election. Mr. Mast won a House seat, previously Democrat-held, in Florida’s 18th district near Palm Beach.
It wasn’t just Trump — the Russians were working with the GOP to get downballot Republicans elected, too. Think about that.
* Philip Rucker, Karen DeYoung, and Michael Birnbaum report that Trump did his Ugly American act in Brussels today:
President Trump exported the confrontational, nationalist rhetoric of his campaign across the Atlantic on Thursday, shaming European leaders for not footing more of the bill for their own defenses and lecturing them to stop taking advantage of U.S. taxpayers.
Speaking in front of a twisted shard of the World Trade Center at NATO’s gleaming new headquarters in Brussels, Trump upbraided America’s longtime allies for “not paying what they should be paying.” He used a ceremony to dedicate the memorial to NATO’s resolve in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States as a platform from which to exhort leaders to “focus on terrorism and immigration” to ensure their security.
And he held back from the one pledge NATO leaders most dearly wanted to hear: an unconditional embrace of NATO’s solemn treaty commitment that an attack on a single alliance nation is an attack on all of them.
Instead, European leaders gazed unsmilingly at Trump while he said that “23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying,” and that they owe “massive amounts” from past years — a misstatement of NATO’s spending targets, which guide nations’ own domestic spending decisions.
The harsh tone had a toll, as Trump was left largely on his own after the speech as leaders mingled and laughed with each other, leaving the U.S. president to stand silently on a stage ahead of a group photo.
OK, that last bit almost makes up for it.
* A new Quinnipiac poll finds that a whopping 20 percent of Americans favor the Republican health care plan.
* Peter Alexander reports that the Gianforte campaign raised $100,000 online in wake of his alleged assault, because people are terrible.
* Tom Hamburger and Rosalind Helderman explain how easy it was for Carter Page to work his way into the Trump campaign despite all his shady connections to Russia.
* Abby Phillip reports that Joe Lieberman has withdrawn himself for consideration for FBI director, depriving liberals of the opportunity to find entirely new things to despise him for.
* And over at The Week, I asked why it is that Trump has been so subdued on this foreign trip. Maybe it’s because they don’t have Fox News over there.