An appeals court on Thursday ruled against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees, saying such a travel ban should not go into effect while courts consider whether it goes too far in limiting visitors to the US.
The ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit marks the latest twist in the national drama that has unfolded since Trump signed the order Jan. 27, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Issued by a panel of three judges, the decision was unsigned with no noted dissent.
The ban suspended entry to the US for visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries for at least 90 days, saying such action was needed to keep terrorists from entering the US.
The order also froze the entire US refugee program for four months and indefinitely banned refugees from Syria.
Protesters objecting to the new rules gathered at major city airports once it went into effect, and officials have said about 60,000 visa-holders were affected by the move.
On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle issued a restraining order against the government, blocking enforcement of the new rules, at least temporarily.
The Justice Department appealed that decision. The judges heard arguments Tuesday, in which Justice Department lawyer August Flentje argued that the president has wide authority to make such decisions regarding immigration and national security.
“This is a traditional national security judgment that is assigned to the political branches and the president, and the court’s order immediately altered that,” Flentje said.
The ruling came as a result of a lawsuit brought by Washington state, which argued the travel ban is discriminatory.
Noah Purcell, a lawyer for the state, told the appeals court panel on Tuesday that Trump and his advisers have made statements that “are rather shocking evidence of intent to harm Muslims’’.
After the hearing, Trump expressed his displeasure at how it had gone, tweeting: “If the US does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!’’
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