February 10, 2017
The legal fight over President Trump’s ban on travelers from seven mostly Muslim nations is on hold after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California, declined to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban, allowing previously barred travelers to continue coming to the United States.
On Thursday, the three federal appeals court judges agreed with the states of Washington and Minnesota on nearly every matter, rejecting nearly all of the Trump administration’s arguments in favor of reinstating the ban, meaning the case could now shift to the U.S. Supreme Court.
They judges also did not shy away from the larger constitutional questions raised by the order, rejecting the administration’s claim of presidential authority, questioning its motives and concluding that the order was unlikely to survive legal challenges.
Moments after the ruling, Trump tweeted, “SEE YOU IN COURT,” adding that “THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
But it is unclear what Trump’s next move will be. The Justice Department said it is considering its options. The administration could appeal the ruling to a larger 9th Circuit panel or go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This combination of recent pictures shows, from left, Judges Richard Clifton, William Canby and Michelle Friedland from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The three judges heard the government’s appeal on the travel ban suspension, and all agreed not to lift it. (U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit /Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)
The lower court action so far is temporary and hasn’t resolved questions about whether Trump’s order is legal. While the ban is on hold, refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim nations identified in the president’s January 27 executive order can continue traveling to the United States.
The appeals court judges noted compelling public interests on both sides.
“On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies. And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination.”
The judges rejected the administration’s argument that courts did not have the authority to review the president’s decisions on immigration and national security. They said the administration failed to show that the order met constitutional requirements to provide notice or a hearing before restricting travel. And they said the administration presented no evidence that any foreigner from the seven countries was responsible for a terrorist attack in the United States.
Last week, U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order halting the ban after Washington state and Minnesota sued. The ban temporarily suspended the nation’s refugee program and immigration from countries that have raised terrorism concerns.
Justice Department lawyers appealed to the 9th Circuit after Robart’s ruling, arguing that the president has the constitutional power to restrict entry to the United States and that the courts cannot second-guess his determination that such a step was needed to prevent terrorism.
The states said Trump’s travel ban harmed people, businesses and universities. They also said the ban went against the Constitution by blocking entry to people based on religion.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com