Trump administration appeals federal court ruling on travel ban

Cheryl Sanders
March 31, 2017

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday appealed a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii extending a suspension of President Donald Trump's revised restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries.

The reasoning in Watson's decision Wednesday largely follows his decision from two weeks ago, which used Supreme Court precedent to conclude that Donald Trump's statements about Muslims during the presidential campaign speak to the constitutionality of the executive order.

The judge said he would deny any request by the government to put his order on hold during an appeal, so if the government wants such a postponement it must ask the Ninth Circuit Court.

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson (shown) of the Federal District Court in Honolulu issued an order on March 29 converting his March 15 temporary restraining order against the Trump administration to a longer-term preliminary injunction.


The executive order would have prevented nationals of six Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya - from entering the USA and stopped all refugee refugee resettlement for 120 days.

Although Trenga's ruling contradicted those made by Chuang and Watson, Trump's order remained suspended. Under federal court rules, an appeal musr be pending in an appeals court before an attempt to skip that level can be attempted.

Given that, and given that the travel ban remains on hold pending the appeal, I think it's a rather frank admission by the court of appeals that, regardless of how it comes out, this case is a pretty big deal - and ought to be treated as such. Under the 9th Circuit's rules, it could - so long as the appeal "relates to a previously resolved and no longer pending appeal".

According to the LA Times, in his opening arguments, Hawaii Attorney General, Doug Chin, stated that "We do not fault the President for being politically incorrect".


"The president's executive order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our nation's security, and the department will continue to defend this executive order in the courts", the Justice Department said in a statement.

As a judge, he wrote, he "will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend that [he] has not seen what [he] has".

The White House believes Trump's executive order is legal, necessary for national security and will ultimately be allowed to move forward, spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday.

The Trump administration's best bet for saving the travel ban is to have the case go before the U.S. Supreme Court, said Richard Primus, a professor of constitutional law at the University of MI law school.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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