Federal appeals court denies Trump administration's appeal to restore the Muslim ban
A federal court has rejected an appeal by President Donald Trump's administration that would have allowed it to reinstate the so-called Muslim ban enacted with an executive order on Jan. 27.
The order put what the president said would be a temporary freeze on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries to the United States, and sparked immediate backlash across the country.
Naturally, Trump is displeased with the court's decision to block his ban. U.S. District Judge James Robart of Seattle set the process in motion on Friday night, issuing a temporary restraining order that halted the ban's enforcement nationwide. On Saturday morning, Trump responded on his personal Twitter account.
"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" he wrote, launching into the inevitable screed that unfolded over the course of the day.
On Saturday, Department of Justice lawyers representing the Trump administration asked the court to revoke the restraining order. With Sunday's decision, according to the Washington Post, the plaintiff — Washington state, joined by Minnesota — had until 3 a.m. Eastern on Monday to file its response, a deadline it met. Early Monday morning, the states asked the court to keep the restraining order in place. The DOJ must reply by 6 p.m. Eastern.
As the Post reported, it's rare for a district judge in a lower federal court to issue a ruling that affects the entire country. But, as Robart — who was appointed by George W. Bush — wrote in his ruling, these particular circumstances warranted the court's intervention on behalf of all 50 states, because the ban risked harm both to the states and their residents.
The case could now make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but for now, Robart's order means that those with valid visas may enter the country, although the immigration situation remains precarious, to say the least.
Feb. 6, 2017, 8:27 a.m.: This article has been updated.