Washington (dpa) – The legal fight over President Donald Trump’s
controversial immigration order resumed Monday with two states
telling an appeals court that restoring his travel ban would “unleash
Legal challenges were mounted across the US against the measure that
blocked entry of most citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations.
However, it was a judge’s ruling on Friday in the state of Washington
that put a temporary nationwide hold on Trump’s order.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco affirmed that
decision in a first ruling on Sunday, siding with lawyers from the
plaintiffs in the case – the states of Washington and Minnesota,
which joined the suit.
The three-judge panel gave both sides a Monday deadline to file
further legal briefs before issuing a final decision.
Lawyers for Washington and Minnesota argued in their brief the travel
ban caused “extraordinary and irreparable harms” to residents and
“On January 27, President Trump unleashed chaos by signing the
executive order at issue here,” lawyers for the two states wrote.
Restoring the ban “would reinstitute those harms, separating
families, stranding our university students and faculty and barring
Lawyers with the Justice Department, who are asking that Trump’s
order be immediately reinstated, are expected to file their arguments
A host of outside groups were filing briefs in support of the case,
with civil rights groups, technology companies, law professors and
universities among those voicing opposition to Trump’s policy.
“The order is motivated by bias against Muslims, as confirmed by the
president’s own public statements, as well as the absence of any
rational justification for the categorical exclusion of individuals
from the seven identified nations or the complete ban on refugees
from around the world,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
wrote in a brief Monday, calling the policy in opposition to the
US Constitution’s prohibition on state establishment of religion.
Nearly 100 technology companies and other businesses, including
Apple, Facebook and Google, were meanwhile arguing the policy would
inflict “significant harm” on US business.
“The order makes it more difficult and expensive for US companies to
recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees. It
disrupts ongoing business operations. And it threatens companies’
ability to attract talent, business, and investment to the United
States,” their lawyers wrote.
The appellate judges are expected to move swiftly on the case by
ruling on whether the travel ban should remain temporarily halted or
requesting that additional hearings be scheduled.
The constitutionality of the ban is not at issue in this case. But
the losing side is almost certain to ask for further judicial review
at the Supreme Court in Washington, where the nation’s top court is
likely to take up the question.
Trump justified the executive order against citizens of the seven
“terror-prone” countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan
and Yemen on national security grounds. The order also suspends the
US refugee programme for 120 days.
The immigration order, which was swiftly condemned by world leaders
and human rights groups, caused confusion and disarray at airports
around the world as airlines tried to determine if passengers could
legally enter the US.
Trump came under renewed criticism over the weekend when he took to
Twitter to blast the US district judge in Seattle, Washington that
put his travel ban on ice.
“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law
enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be
overturned!” Trump wrote of judge James Robart.
Robart was appointed to the court by Republican George W Bush and
unanimously confirmed by the US Senate in 2004.