A federal appeals court panel Monday blocked Indiana Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence's attempt to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana.
The court upheld a lower court judge in barring Pence from interfering with the distribution of federal funds to resettle Syrian refugees in his state. The appeals court panel said that federal law bars discrimination based on nationality.
The three-judge panel that issued the ruling is an all-star group of conservative judges, including one of the judges on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
In a unanimous opinion, the appeals court said Gov. Pence acted illegally in accepting federal money for refugee resettlement and then refusing to use that money to aid Syrian refugees.
The panel rejected Pence's argument that terrorists are posing as Syrian refugees to gain entry into the U.S., calling it a "nightmare speculation" based on no evidence. Indeed, the court said, the state presented no evidence that any Syrian refugee had been involved in a terrorist act in the U.S.
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