The motions panel of a US Federal Appellate Court ruled on Thursday, Feb 9, against reinstating the travel ban in a Presidential Executive Order, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
The three judges sitting on the motions panel of the US Courts of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco, presented their decision in 29 pages of written opinion released in the afternoon.
In a unanimous move, the judges, two of them appointed by former Democratic presidents and one by the former Republican president, wrote at the end of the ruling: “the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is DENIED.”
The motion, by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State, was to overrule a temporary restraining order (TRO) imposed by a lower court judge against the travel ban.
The latest development effectively maintained the TRO in place since last Friday, Feb 3, allowing citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries with proper visas to enter the United States.
The motions panel heard oral arguments Tuesday, Feb 7, pertaining to the Executive Order signed on Jan 27 by President Donald Trump that bars entry into the United States by nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
On Friday, Feb 3, Judge James Robart of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled in favour of the states of Washington and Minnesota and put the travel ban on hold, prompting the DOJ to appeal on Saturday, Feb 4.
The two states filed a suit on Jan 30 before the District Court and challenged the travel ban citing harms to the states in areas including employment, education, trade, family relation and freedom of travel.
The DOJ, however, insisted that the ban is within the authority of the president, dismissing the states as well as the Federal Court system’s role in the matter.
In its response, the motions panel of the appellate court wrote: “although courts owe considerable deference to the President’s policy determinations with respect to immigration and national security, it is beyond question that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action.”
Instead of initiating a full review of the case, the panel is in charge of specifically deciding whether to lift the TRO put in place by Judge Robart. – Bernama