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Another court defeat for Trump as travel ban found to unlawfully discriminate against Muslims

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President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries violates the U.S. Constitution by discriminating on the basis of religion, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday in another legal setback for the policy.

The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on a 9-4 vote, became the second federal appeals court to rule against the ban, which was put in place by Trump with a presidential proclamation in September. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the ban to go into effect while litigation challenging it continues.

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The 4th Circuit ruling went further than the earlier decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found the ban violated federal immigration law but did not address the question of whether it violated the Constitution. The Supreme Court already has said it will consider both issues in deciding the legality of the ban in the coming months.

The justices are due in April to hear arguments over the ban and issue a ruling by the end of June.

“Examining official statements from President Trump and other executive branch officials, along with the proclamation itself, we conclude that the proclamation is unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam,” 4th Circuit Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote in the ruling.

Trump’s policy, the third version of the ban that he has issued since taking office in January 2017, blocks entry into the United States of most people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The Republican president has said the policy is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamic militants.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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WATCH: Protester bled from his ear after being shoved by police — cops say he ‘tripped’

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SHocking video from Buffalo, New York was posted online on Thursday after a large group of police confronted a lone protester -- and then violently shoved him.

"Shortly after Buffalo’s curfew started, city police and State Police swept through the area of Niagara Square directly in front of City Hall to clear the area where a protest was finishing. An unidentified, older man was hit shoved by two officers in the line. The man lost his balance and fell to the pavement, audibly hitting his head with blood running out from under his head," WBFO-TV reports.

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Trump aides are compiling candidates to replace Mark Esper if Trump decides to fire him: report

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On Thursday, Politico reported that although Defense Secretary Mark Esper's job appears safe for now, aides to President Donald Trump are compiling a list of potential nominees to replace him if the president changes his mind and decides to fire him.

"An administration official and two people close to the White House say staffers in recent days have pulled together a list of possible candidates for Defense secretary if Trump does choose to fire Esper," reported Lara Seligman, Daniel Lippman, and Meridith McGraw. "At the top of that list is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who was Esper’s No. 2 before taking the Army job last summer, the people said. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), an outspoken Trump ally who has previously been considered for the position, is also in the mix, according to one of the people."

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Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio ripped by NYT for failing to protecting New Yorkers from the NYPD

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As protesters in New York City demonstrate against the killing of George Floyd, police in the city have resorted to heavy-handed tactics to try to restore order.

They’re dragging people out one by one. It looks like a mosh pit in there. To be clear this was a peaceful protest that cops surrounded and charged at 8 pm on the dot pic.twitter.com/f3lvrT2dlK

— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) June 5, 2020

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