The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a preliminary injunction blocking President Trump’s travel ban should remain in effect, at least for now.
The decision centers on an executive order to temporarily suspend the admission of refugees to the U.S. and limit travel from some majority-Muslim countries. It’s Trump’s second attempt to impose such a policy; it has been blocked by lawsuits and never gone into effect.
There are multiple cases pending against the revised order. The one before the 9th Circuit was the case of Hawaii v. Trump — the first lawsuit filed by a state against the revised travel ban. A three-judge panel heard oral arguments on that case last month.
The 9th Circuit sided with the state, deciding that the travel ban should stay on hold as the cases against it move through the courts. The judges were not directly ruling on the merits of the travel ban itself; however, to evaluate whether the injunction was appropriate, they had to weigh the probable impact of the travel ban and the likelihood that a case against it would succeed.
They decided there was a high likelihood of irreparable harm if the travel ban went into effect, and that the executive order “does not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality.”
“National security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power,” the judges wrote.
It’s the second such decision in less than a month: Weeks ago, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling.
However, the 9th Circuit did rule that the preliminary injunction — as originally imposed by the district court — was too broad. One portion of the “travel ban” executive order — which does not limit travel or immigration, would call for internal reviews within the federal government — should be allowed to go into effect.
Both U.S. appeals courts were skeptical of the federal government’s argument that the executive order was well within the president’s authority.
The White House has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and reinstate the travel ban.