02  Donald Trump Rally
PHOTO: CNN
02 Donald Trump Rally
Now playing
03:37
Trump responds to Hawaii travel ban ruling
muslim ban jake tapper fact check orig nws_00002104.jpg
muslim ban jake tapper fact check orig nws_00002104.jpg
Now playing
03:45
Is travel ban a 'total and complete' Muslim ban?
trump travel ban
PHOTO: CNN
trump travel ban
Now playing
01:39
Trump reacts to travel ban ruling
PHOTO: Jeremy Moorhead/CNN
Now playing
02:19
Voices divided on travel ban ruling
travel ban trump then and now orig nws_00002328.jpg
travel ban trump then and now orig nws_00002328.jpg
Now playing
01:23
Trump's travel ban then and now
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:53
The seven countries banned by Trump
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:57
Toobin: This is Muslim ban dressed in a tutu
Now playing
01:42
Senator: Supreme Court abandoned responsibility
WASHINGTON - MARCH 08:  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 8, 2007 in Washington, DC. Thomas and fellow Justice Clarence Thomas spoke about concerns with the ongoing remodeling of the court building, the reduction of paperwork due to electronic media and the disparity of pay between federal judges and lawyers working in the private sector.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON - MARCH 08: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 8, 2007 in Washington, DC. Thomas and fellow Justice Clarence Thomas spoke about concerns with the ongoing remodeling of the court building, the reduction of paperwork due to electronic media and the disparity of pay between federal judges and lawyers working in the private sector. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:58
Justice Kennedy harshly critiques Trump
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: People wait in line to enter the U.S. Supreme Court, on April 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Today the high court is hearing arguments in Chavez-Mesa v. US, which concerns a technical matter regarding sentencing guidelines. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be representing the government. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: People wait in line to enter the U.S. Supreme Court, on April 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Today the high court is hearing arguments in Chavez-Mesa v. US, which concerns a technical matter regarding sentencing guidelines. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be representing the government. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:48
Supreme Court upholds Trump's travel ban
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 25: Travelers with their baggage are seen in a check-in line September 25, 2006 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The TSA announced today they have slightly relaxed the ban on carrying some liquids onto passenger flights to allow most toiletries and beverages bought after the security checkpoints.  (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Tim Boyle/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 25: Travelers with their baggage are seen in a check-in line September 25, 2006 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The TSA announced today they have slightly relaxed the ban on carrying some liquids onto passenger flights to allow most toiletries and beverages bought after the security checkpoints. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:31
Trump's latest travel ban
Now playing
04:04
Listen as lawyers argue travel ban case
President Donald Trump smiles during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2017.
PHOTO: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump smiles during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2017.
Now playing
02:36
Court cites Trump tweets in travel ban ruling
travel ban immigrant families althaibani
PHOTO: CNN, Family Photos
travel ban immigrant families althaibani
Now playing
02:29
Families in limbo over Trump's travel ban
Now playing
01:14
Jeff Sessions: Travel ban protects Americans
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01:  U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump pledged on the campaign trail to withdraw from the accord, which former President Barack Obama and the leaders of 194 other countries signed in 2015. The agreement is intended to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming to a manageable level.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump pledged on the campaign trail to withdraw from the accord, which former President Barack Obama and the leaders of 194 other countries signed in 2015. The agreement is intended to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming to a manageable level. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:30
Trump pushes travel ban in tweetstorm

Story highlights

The Justice Department voluntarily dismissed the administration's appeal in the 9th Circuit last week

"We have an obligation to correct our own errors," the judges wrote Wednesday

(CNN) —  

Five Republican-appointed judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signaled their support for the legal underpinnings of President Donald Trump’s travel ban late Wednesday in an unusual and unsolicited filing.

Despite the fact that Trump has resoundingly and repeatedly criticized the 9th Circuit, five judges came to the President’s defense, saying that “whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the President or the Executive Order, the President’s decision was well within the powers of the presidency.”

The comments from the five judges do not impact the move by a federal judge in Hawaii who blocked Trump’s new travel ban on Wednesday.

But it could be meaningful down the line. If the Justice Department appeals the Hawaii ruling, the case will be headed to the 9th Circuit and could very well be heard by these same five judges who now say the law is on Trump’s side.

An unusual move

Last week, the day after Trump signed the new travel ban, the Justice Department voluntarily moved to dismiss its appeal of an earlier federal ruling that blocked implementation of the original travel ban nationwide – meaning the case was out of the hands of the 9th Circuit.

But that didn’t stop members of the court from weighing in on their three colleagues’ earlier – but now moot – declination to reinstate the original travel ban last month.

“The panel’s errors are many and obvious” and the decision “stands contrary to well-established separation-of-powers principles,” wrote Judge Jay Bybee, who was joined by four other Republican-nominated judges in a blistering 26-page missive.

“We are all acutely aware of the enormous controversy and chaos that attended the issuance of the Executive Order,” but “we cannot let our personal inclinations get ahead of important, overarching principles about who gets to make decisions in our democracy.”

Condemning Trump attacks on judiciary

The judges did, however, issue a strong condemnation of Trump’s “personal attacks” on US District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle, who originally froze the travel ban.

“The personal attacks on the distinguished district judge and our colleagues were out of all bounds of civic and persuasive discourse – particularly when they came from the parties,” they wrote.

“Such personal attacks treat the court as though it were merely a political forum in which bargaining, compromise, and even intimidation are acceptable principles,” the judges added. “The courts of law must be more than that, or we are not governed by law at all.”