Busy weekend for lawyers as Trump's travel ban contested
Follow the latest twists in the highly controversial case
US President Donald Trump’s on-again, off-again travel ban is back with the courts after a tumultuous weekend, when an appeals court opted to keep in place the temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge until a final ruling can be made.
Trump’s executive order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen – from entering the US for 90 days, bans all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.
So what’s the latest with one of the new administration’s most controversial moves so far?
On Friday, federal Judge James Robart of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington temporarily suspended key parts of the executive order nationwide.
The powerful 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal appeals court in San Francisco, early Sunday denied the US government’s emergency request to resume the ban. That court ordered both sides to submit arguments for and against the ban by Monday night.
The 9th Circuit scheduled oral arguments for Tuesday evening in the matter. Lawyers will make their cases to three federal judges in an hourlong hearing to determine the immediate fate of the temporary restraining order.
Regardless of the outcome, the loser is expected to appeal to the US Supreme Court.
How has Trump taken it?
He’s fuming. Over the weekend he fired off several tweets blasting Robart’s decision, in one referring to the Bush appointee as a “so called” judge.
In another, he said, “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
Trump’s Justice Department sent out a strongly worded filing, emphasizing that halting enforcement of the travel ban “harms the public” and “second-guesses the President’s national security judgment” in the immigration context.
“(Robart’s ruling) contravenes the considered judgment of Congress that the President should have the unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens,” the Justice Department wrote.
Are people traveling?
Robart’s ruling suspended the ban, and the rejection of the appeal means it’s no longer in effect until the ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Recent Clemson University graduate Nazanin Zinouri touched down in Boston’s Logan International Airport early Sunday afternoon after more than a day of air travel from Tehran – she had left the US on vacation on January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration.
“I still can’t believe this actually happened,” she told CNN at the airport Sunday. “I didn’t see this coming any time soon, so this is definitely beyond whatever I could imagine.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham shared the news that she was heading back to South Carolina by tweeting “Good news! I know she has lots of friends and co-workers who can’t wait to see her. I’m happy she’s almost home.”