A federal judge in Seattle upended Trump's executive order nationwide on Friday by temporarily suspending the key provisions restricting travel for foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugee admissions.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the US government's emergency request to resume the ban early Sunday morning -- and instead asked both sides to submit their arguments before a three-judge panel issues a final ruling.
The appellate court has set an hour-long telephonic oral argument in the case for Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.
1. Court filings
Early Monday morning, attorneys general for the states of Washington and Minnesota who filed the lawsuit submitted their brief urging the appellate court to keep the travel ban suspension in place.
The states say that the temporary restraining order should remain in place because the President had "unleashed chaos" by signing the order.
The government submitted its own brief in response Monday evening.
DOJ continues to emphasize that the states do not have the ability to sue in this case because (a) a district court judge does not have the right to second-guess the President's national security judgment in the immigration context.
Multiple other parties have also sought permission to file what's known as an amicus ("friend of the court") brief in the case. The "amici" range from nearly 100 tech companies
who claim the travel ban is inflicting significant harm on their business operations to the conservative non-profit organization Citizens United.
2. Ninth Circuit review
Now that all of the court filings are in, the next step is the oral argument before the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday.
The hour-long hearing, conducted by telephone among three West coast judges, will determine the immediate fate of the nationwide temporary restraining order against Trump's travel ban.
The randomly assigned three-judge panel includes Judge William C. Canby Jr, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter; Judge Michelle T. Friedland; who was appointed by President Barack Obama; and Judge Richard R. Clifton, an appointee of President George W. Bush.
The judges have a variety of options at their disposal in terms of reaching a decision, but it is unlikely that they would rule on whether the ban is constitutional (since that is not the question before them) -- the central issue is whether the executive order should remain suspended for now.
After the three-judge panel publishes its decision, the losing party has 14 days to file a petition for rehearing the case by the full appellate court (but is not required to do so in order to get the case in front of the Supreme Court).
3. Supreme Court review
Given the high stakes involved in this lawsuit, it is expected that whomever ultimately loses before the Ninth Circuit will most likely appeal to the US Supreme Court.
At the moment, there are only eight justices on the court, which means if there is a 4-4 split then the Ninth Circuit's ruling will be the law of the land.