A federal appeals court has refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim nations, unanimously rejecting the administration’s claim of presidential authority and questioning its motives.
The panel of three judges from the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban and allowed previously barred travelers to enter the U.S.
Now the lower court still must debate the merits of the ban, and it’s very like that the Trump administration would take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
That could put the decision in the hands of a divided court that has a vacancy. Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch, could not be confirmed in time to take part in any consideration of the ban.
Moments after the ruling was released, Trump tweeted, “SEE YOU IN COURT”. “THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat who leads one of the states that challenged the ban, responded to Trump by saying:
“Mr. President, we just saw you in court, and we beat you.”
The appeals panel said the government presented no evidence to explain the urgent need for the executive order to take effect immediately. The 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 court rejected the administration’s claim that it did not have the authority to review the president’s executive order.
“There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy,” the court said.