Let’s get this thing on the fast track. It’s good to see the Justice Department standing behind the president. With all those working against him, Trump needs all the support we can give!
The Justice Department Monday asked a federal appeals court to restore President Trump’s ban on travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations, the latest salvo in a legal fight headed for a possible showdown at the Supreme Court.
The filing with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came three days after a federal judge in Washington state halted Trump’s order and granted a nationwide stay. The Justice Department said U.S. District Judge James Robart’s order was “vastly overbroad” and said Trump’s executive order was “a lawful exercise of the President’s authority over the entry of aliens into the United States and the admission of refugees.”
The appeals court refused to immediately reinstate the ban, and lawyers for Washington and Minnesota — two states challenging it — argued anew on Monday that any resumption would “unleash chaos again,” separating families and stranding university students.
Oral arguments were set for Tuesday afternoon. Whatever the appeals court decides, either side could ask the Supreme Court to intervene.
It could prove difficult, though, to find the necessary five votes at the high court to undo a lower court order; the Supreme Court has been at less than full strength since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death a year ago. The last immigration case that reached the justices ended in a 4-4 tie.
The president’s executive order has faced legal uncertainty ever since Friday’s ruling by Robart, which challenged both Trump’s authority and his ability to fulfill a campaign promise.
The State Department quickly said people from the seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — could travel to the U.S. if they had valid visas. The Homeland Security Department said it was no longer directing airlines to prevent affected visa holders from boarding U.S.-bound planes.
On Monday in Colorado, a graduate student who had traveled to Libya with her 1-year-old son to visit her sick mother and attend her father’s funeral was back in Fort Collins after having been stopped in Jordan on her return trip. She was welcomed with flowers and balloons by her husband and other children.