USA court refuses to reinstate President Trump's travel ban

Enlarge  Donald Trump Peter Thiel met with and Apple CEO Tim Cook and other leaders in December

Judges on a federal appeals court panel appeared skeptical Tuesday about whether they should reinstate President Donald Trump's ban on entry to the United States by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Lawyers for the federal government then requested the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pause Robart's decision.

Federal court judge James L. Robart of Seattle made the initial decision to suspend Trump's executive order over the weekend, reinstating entry for visitors with valid visas from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

If it did not go to directly to the Supreme Court, the Trump administration could also ask the full 9th Circuit to review its request, said Margo Schlanger, a law professor at the University of MI who was the head of civil rights for the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama.

Bush appointee, posed equally tough questions for an attorney representing Minnesota and Washington states, which are challenging the ban.

The Justice Department argued to the court Tuesday that the executive action should not be subject to judicial review because the president of the United States has broad legal authority granted by the Constitution and Congress to act in the national interest.

While not weighing in on the legality of the ban, Thursday's decision said it should not go into effect until its legality is actually decided by lower courts.

There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.

Whatever the decision, it will nearly certainly be appealed to the Supreme Court. Judge Robart's ruling last week allowed immigrants and travelers who had been banned to come into the US.

Trump indicated he would appeal the ruling in an all-caps tweet.

The three judges said the states had shown that even temporary reinstatement of the ban would cause harm.

He explained that Trump would have a much better chance if the Supreme Court had nine justices, but without Judge Neil Gorsuch being confirmed, the administration's chances of success are "dicey".

However, at least two of the panelists, Judge Michelle Friedland and Judge William Canby, appeared skeptical of the administration's position and whether Trump's travel ban amounts to a ban on Muslims.

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