Donald Trump loses court battle to reinstate travel ban

President Trump promised to bring the decision to the US Supreme Court

Justin Carissimo
New York
Friday 10 February 2017 00:59 GMT
Trump reacts to travel ban ruling

A federal appeals court has refused to reinstate Donald Trump’s refugee and travel ban, infuriating the US President who has promised to challenge the ruling. The executive order, which affects people from seven Muslim-majority countries, was temporarily paused by a district court in Seattle last week.

Judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the lower court’s temporary restraining order suspending the ban. The decision on Thursday is the latest legal blow to one of Mr Trump’s biggest campaign promises.

The unanimous decision, from the three-judge panel reads: “We hold that the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay."

President Trump signed the executive order during his first week in office, sparking confusion and protests at airports around the world. The restrictions prevented citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the country while temporarily banning all refugees from resettling in the states.

Within minutes, President Trump tweeted his response in all-caps promising to challenge the decision in court, signaling an immediate appeal to the US Supreme Court.

In their decision, the panel also ruled that Mr Trump's talk of a "Muslim ban" on the campaign trail can be used as evidence for discrimination. “The States argue that the Executive Order violates the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses because it was intended to disfavor Muslims,” reads the decision.

“In support of this argument, the States have offered evidence of numerous statements by the President about his intent to implement a ‘Muslim ban’ as well as evidence they claim suggests that the Executive Order was intended to be that ban, including sections 5(b) and 5(e) of the Order. It is well established that evidence of purpose beyond the face of the challenged law may be considered in evaluating Establishment and Equal Protection Clause claims.”

Judge James Robart, the federal judge in Seattle who granted the temporary restraining order, inspired attacks from President Trump, who referred to him as a “so-called judge” and accused him of endangering the country’s national security.

Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump's former rival on the campaign trail, referenced the Ninth Circuit's unanimous decision by simply tweeting, "3-0."

Groups who vehemently opposed the President’s travel restrictions from the start, applauded the federal court on Thursday.

Omar Jadwat, the director of the ACLU's Immigrant Rights Project, agreed with the panel’s decision.

“The appeals court’s refusal to reinstate the Muslim ban is correct,” he said in a statement to The Independent. “The government’s erratic and chaotic attempts to enforce this unconstitutional ban have taken a tremendous toll on innocent individuals, our country’s values, and our standing in the world. We will keep fighting this un-American executive order until it is permanently dismantled.”

Meanwhile, Nihad Awad, co-founder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reminded supporters that the legal fight against the Trump administration is far from over.

"We applaud this ruling as a reaffirmation of the strength and independence of our system of justice. This decision adds to the long list of federal judges—both Republican and Democratic appointees—who found reason to block this discriminatory order,” he said in a statement.

"While this decision is critical, it is not the end of the legal process. Other courts across the country will be passing judgment on this order, and the US Supreme Court will likely weigh in at some point. This victory should not lead to complacency,” he continued. “This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others."

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