Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is applauding a federal appeal’s court ruling that blocks President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.
“Our system of checks and balances is kicking in,” Herring told WAMU after the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling against Trump’s order prohibiting travel from six predominately Muslim countries.
Herring filed one of the early challenges to the president’s effort to block travelers from countries he considers security threats, scoring a partial victory earlier this year.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced late Thursday that the administration will appeal the 4th Circuit ruling to the Supreme Court.
Herring called the appellate court’s 10-3 ruling a remarkable take down of Trump’s executive order. Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Roger Gregory said the president’s effort, in the context of his campaign rhetoric against Muslims, “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
The travel ban that the court ruled unconstitutional Thursday is a revised version of an earlier order that was also blocked by several federal courts. Among other things, the new, slightly narrower order, suspended new visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
One of the dissenting judges lamented the decision to block the travel ban.
“Regrettably, at the end of the day, the real losers in this case are the millions of individual Americans whose security is threatened on a daily basis by those who seek to do us harm,” warned Judge Dennis Shedd.
But Herring, a Democrat, argued that the travel ban harmed numerous Virginians — especially those enrolled in the state’s institutions of higher learning.
“Students and faculty had their travel restricted,” the attorney general said. “Researchers and students had to cancel plans to present research at an international conference.”
He said the ban also threatened the state’s economy because it inhibited local businesses from luring international talent to Virginia or retaining employees they had.
It’s a sentiment echoed by more than a dozen other state attorneys general, including D.C.’s Karl Racine and Maryland’s Brian Frosh. Both Maryland and the District joined Virginia in supporting the case against the travel ban.