Washington vs Trump: Court upholds halt to travel ban

Feb 9, 2017, 3:18 PM | Updated: 10:34 pm
Washington vs Trump...
David Pearce, left, and his daughter Crissy Pearce hold signs outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven countries. The Washington vs Trump case now continues through the court system.

Related: Court of Appeals sets online streaming record for travel ban heard

Attorneys representing the Trump Administration attempted to convince three federal judges earlier this week that the halt to the travel ban should be lifted. On Thursday, it was announced that the judges disagree.

President Trump took to Twitter for his response to the decision.

“We’ve seen him in court twice, and we’re two for two,” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a press conference following the decision, and Trump’s tweet.

The executive order attempted to ban travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, and refugees, into the United States. Under the restraining order, Trump’s executive order is not active while the case continues through the legal system.

Washington vs Trump: What now?

Three federal judges — Circuit Judge Michelle T. Friedland of San Jose, Calif.; Sr. Circuit Court Judge William C. Canby of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Sr. Circuit Court Judge Richard R. Clifton of Honolulu, Hawaii — were charged with either upholding a previous court’s restraining order on President Donald Trump’s travel ban, or to knocking it down.

The State of Washington and Minnesota sued the president over his executive order that banned refugees from entering the country, and banned travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. U.S. District Judge James Robart heard the case and put a restraining order on the travel ban while the case continues through the legal system. The Department of Justice appealed that ruling leading to the three judges at the court of appeals.

Ferguson said Thursday that he believes the case will not head back to Judge Robart where its merits will be considered. Robart’s decision so far has only been to place the restraining order on Trump’s executive order. But the constitutionality of the executive order has not fully been considered.

“In order to get to this stage, (Robart) had to determine that the state was likely to prevail,” Ferguson noted. “In  my view the future the Constitution is at stake. Look, we respect that the president has broad authority with executive orders. But they still have to follow the Constitution. We firmly believe this executive order does not.”

“The president has a choice: he could continue to fight his, or he could tear up the executive order and start over,” he said. “I strongly encourage him to consider the latter.”

Trump’s travel ban is set to sunset after 90 days. The Associated Press reports that the ban could expire before the legal battle is finished. The case could also end up at the Supreme Court, which currently has a vacancy. President Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the spot, but the Associated Press reports that he will not be confirmed before the Supreme Court could possibly take up the issue.

“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.”

Responding to the decision

Drawing from Trump’s Feb. 4 tweet after the first decision to place a restraining order on his executive order, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said:

“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.”

After Judge Robart’s ruling, Trump tweeted on Feb. 4 that Robart — appointed by Republican George W. Bush — was a “so-called judge.”

Also responding to the decision:

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Washington vs Trump: Court upholds halt to travel ban