Trump loses appeal; court declines to reinstate travel ban

A protest of Trump’s executive orders marched through Sea-Tac International Airport on Jan. 28. (Photo by Venice Buhain.)

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban that blocked travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations, in a decision released on Thursday afternoon. The decision was unanimous.

The decision upholds U.S. District Court Judge James Robart’s temporary restraining order on Trump’s 90-day travel ban of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

Robart’s restraining order, issued last Friday, allowed a window for visa holders from those countries to enter the United States.

On Jan. 27, Trump signed the 90-day travel ban; a 120-day suspension of entry of all refugees and an indefinite travel ban for Syrian refugees. But last Friday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit challenging the travel ban and Robart issued the restraining order. The state of Minnesota also joined the lawsuit.

The Trump administration appealed Robart’s decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the court heard arguments on Tuesday afternoon on whether to uphold the restraining order that blocked enforcement of the travel ban nationwide.

Washington’s lawsuit was one of a number of legal challenges to the ban. On Tuesday, two University of Washington graduate students filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the ban.

Trump, on Twitter, appeared to vow to appeal the latest ruling to the Supreme Court. He also told reporters that the judges’ decision was “political” and that the “security of the country is at stake.”

Local reaction

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

“Today’s decision to uphold Judge Robart’s order is a victory for Washington State and indeed the entire country. Thank you to Attorney General Ferguson and Solicitor General Noah Purcell for their diligent work on behalf of our state.

“The decision underscores the serious constitutional issues with President Trump’s executive order and emphasizes what Attorney General Ferguson has said throughout this case: that no one is above the law, not even the president.

“Since the restraining order was issued, in our state we’ve seen a Somali man reunited with his wife, an American citizen. An Iraqi global health leader able to rejoin his colleagues at the University of Washington. And a graduate student studying HIV vaccines to return to continue his important work.

“I’m proud of that Washington is a national leader in this fight. We were the first state to stand against this executive order. But all Americans need to be willing to stand and fight for our democracy, everywhere, every time, and in every way it is threatened.”

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

“No one is above the law, not even the President,” Ferguson said. “The President should withdraw this flawed, rushed and dangerous Executive Order, which caused chaos across the country. If he refuses, I will continue our work to hold him accountable to the Constitution.”

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

“I applaud the 9th Circuit for upholding U.S. District Court Judge James Robart’s temporary restraining order. This decision continues to block President Trump’s so-called security measures that ban people, including refugees, from coming into the United States from seven majority Muslim countries.

“I’m particularly encouraged because Judge Robart’s original ruling highlighted President Trump’s attempt to prioritize one religion over another. Today’s 9th Circuit ruling affirms that there is no place for religious hierarchy in America.”

“Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson was right to file this suit. As I said immediately after Trump won the election, our values will remain intact and Seattle and Washington state will remain inclusive and welcoming.

“Attorney General Ferguson and his diligent staff stood for those values in court this week, making a clear case for inclusiveness over intolerance. We must stand up against racism and Islamophobia because discrimination against any one of us is discrimination against all of us.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, WA-7

“The Constitution wins. This is an enormous victory for democracy and for families in our country and around the world. The justices unanimously rejected the idea that they should narrow the temporary restraining order based on geography or scope. They signaled that this executive order will likely be overturned in higher court.

“This means, at least for now, families in Washington state and across the country will be able to reunite with their loved ones. Refugees seeking freedom will be able to escape the horrors and devastation of war.

“The United States retains its place as a refuge for so many around the world. Given the court’s ruling, I urge the President to abandon this failed executive order, and to spare the American people the expense and pain of continued litigation. Instead of stoking hate and xenophobia, he should be a president for all Americans.”

Congressman Adam Smith, WA-9

“President Trump’s executive order banning refugees is in clear contradiction of America values. I am pleased to see that a three-judge panel for the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling that temporarily blocked President Trump’s executive order.  His reckless actions regarding refugees and visas—and insulting a federal judge—are contrary to America’s founding principles and threaten our nation’s security.  I applaud the State of Washington for bringing this lawsuit, and I will continue to advocate for smart, thoughtful policies that advance our national interests and live up to our ideals.”

This is a developing news story. This story will be updated with additional information.

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