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US court rejects Trump administration's request to reinstate travel ban
In a significant blow to President Donald Trump, a US federal appeals court today rejected a request by his administration to immediately reinstate travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
Washington: In a significant blow to President Donald Trump, a US federal appeals court today rejected a request by his administration to immediately reinstate travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
The Justice Department had made the request with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco as part of an appeal against a lower court order halting the travel ban on people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
"Appellants request for an immediate administrative stay pending full consideration of the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied," the ruling said.
The court asked for both sides to file legal briefs before it makes its final decision after a federal judge halted the program on Friday. It asked challengers of the ban to respond to the appeal, and for the Justice Department to file a counter-response by tomorrow.
The court's denial of stay means the people from affected Muslim countries will be allowed, for now, to enter the US. Citing the presidents "sovereign prerogative" to admit or exclude aliens, lawyers for the Department of Justice earlier told the court that the states of Washington and Minnesota should not have been allowed to challenge the ban, and that a judge was wrong to stop Trumps executive order. Acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the US.
"Judicial second-guessing of the Presidents determination that a temporary suspension of entry of certain classes of aliens was necessary at this time to protect national security would constitute an impermissible intrusion on the political branches? plenary constitutional authority over foreign affairs, national security, and immigration," Francisco said in a brief.
The administration was fighting Seattle federal judge James Robarts decision on Friday that imposed a temporary, nationwide halt to Trumps order barring refugees and those from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the country.
Soon after Robarts ruling, Trump attacked the judge, a George W Bush appointee, calling him a "so-called judge" and saying his opinion was "ridiculous and will be overturned".
Trump's executive order banned travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, suspended all refugee entry to the US for 120 days and indefinitely suspended entry for Syrian refugees.
After Fridays ruling, the Department of Homeland Security announced it had suspended all actions to implement the immigration order and would resume standard inspections of travellers as it did prior to the signing of the travel ban. At the same time, it urged the Justice Department to challenge the ruling "at the earliest possible time".
Trump had exuded confidence that his administration would prevail in the governments appeal of the ruling.
"Well win," Trump had told White House pool. "For the safety of the country, well win."
"The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!" Trump had said, expressing his clear displeasure over Robarts ruling.
From Lalit K Jha