In the latest major setback for the Trump administration's attempt to ban immigration to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries, a federal appeals court rejected the revised version of Trump's now frozen Muslim ban on Thursday, The New York Times reported.
Describing the revised ban as "intolerant and discriminatory," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled against it, 10-3, upholding other lower court decisions that had previously barred the Trump administration from implementing its second attempt at the travel ban.
In his statement on the matter, Chief Judge Roger Gregory said that revisions removing any mention of religion from the second executive order did not hide the real motive: "President Trump’s desire to exclude Muslims from the United States."
“From the highest elected office in the nation has come an executive order steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group,” he added.
In response to the news, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly vowed to appeal the ruling, making a Supreme Court showdown more likely in coming months.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded to Session's statement with a Tweet saying: "See you in court!"
ACLU welcomes the news
ACLU of Maryland welcomed the news on Thursday.
Both ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center had brought the case to court "on behalf of HIAS, the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Middle East Studies Association, and individuals affected by the ban."
In his statement on the matter, Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and lawyer who argued the case in court said:
“President Trump’s Muslim ban violates the Constitution, as this decision strongly reaffirms. The Constitution’s prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion is a fundamental protection for all of us, and we can all be glad that the court today rejected the government’s request to set that principle aside.”
Arabs and Muslims react on social media
As soon as the news of the latest ruling began to make the rounds online, hundreds of Arabs and Muslims took to social media to share their thoughts.