Ninth Circuit Keeps Trump's Travel Ban On Hold — As Supreme Court Deadline Looms by BuzzFeed


A federal appeals court on Monday kept enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban on hold “in large piece” — allowing the federal government to conduct “internal reviews” while the ban is challenged but keeping external enforcement on hold.

As has often been the situation in the Trump presidency, his words on Twitter — a tweet from a week ago, here — worked against him on Monday.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit cited Trump’s recent statement — “That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain unsafe countries, not some politically right term that won’t support us protect our people!” — as evidence that the president’s assessment is that “the ‘countries’ … are inherently unsafe, fairly than the 180 million individual nationals of those countries” who are affected by the travel ban.

The Ninth Circuit, in its opinion, kept in area a lower court’s injunction that halts enforcement of the temporary ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as the portions of the March 6 executive order that temporarily halted the refugee program and capped the number of refugees allowed into the country in 2017 to 50,000. The Ninth Circuit is the moment appeals court to uphold an injunction against the travel ban portion of the executive order.

In its order, however, the Ninth Circuit limited the very broad prior injunction issued in Hawaii’s challenge to the travel ban. The district court had halted enforcement of the entirety of sections 2 and 6 of the executive order — the travel and refugee portions of the order, respectively. The Ninth Circuit ruling limits that — allowing the federal government to conduct internal reviews of its immigrant and non-immigrant travel vetting and refugee policies, as set forth in the executive order, while the challenges to the executive order are ongoing.

As it had done previously, when refusing to allow enforcement of the president’s first executive order on the topic during the Justice Department’s appeal of it, the court refused the argument that the policy is unreviewable.

“Whatever deference we accord to the President’s immigration and national security policy judgments does not preclude us from reviewing the policy at full,” the court held.

Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald M. Gould, and Richard A. Paez had heard arguments over the ban in Seattle a tiny less than a month ago. Monday’s opinion was issued per curiam, meaning in the name of the court and not authored by a specific judge.

The appeals court issued the ruling hours before a Supreme Court deadline for challengers to the ban to reply to the Justice Department’s request that the justices hear a case over the legality of the executive order and allow enforcement of the travel ban during the appeal.

Hawaii already had filed its opposition earlier Monday to the Justice Department’s request that the injunction in its case be set aside on hold during the appeal to allow the federal government to enforce the ban.

This is a developing sage. Check back at BuzzFeed News for the latest news.

Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & homosexual Journalists organization award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at [email protected].

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