The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s Executive Order, which temporarily banned citizens from seven countries into the U.S.
The three-member panel, in its unanimous ruling, upheld a February 3 decision by a U.S. District Court judge, James Robart, in Seattle, that halted the ban nationwide.
“We hold that the government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we, therefore, deny its emergency motion for a stay.
“The American people have an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination,” the judges – Michelle Friedland, William Canby Jr, and Richard Clifton – said in a 29-page unanimous ruling.
However, President Trump immediately indicated his intention to challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court.
“See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake,” Mr. Trump tweeted shortly after the ruling.
The Trump administration had appealed the ruling by Robart, and asked that the ban be reinstated.
The decision came six days after Mr. Robart froze the travel ban nationwide after challenges from Washington and Minnesota states.
Mr. Robart said both states had the right to challenge Mr. Trump’s order and were likely to succeed.
“The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury,” Mr. Robart said in his ruling.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a notice of appeal on Saturday.
In a hearing on Tuesday at the Appeals Court the administration claimed that the ban was motivated by terrorism fears,and questioned the argument that it unconstitutionally targeted Muslims.
The president’s executive order banned entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
It also put a 120-day hold on the general refugee programme.
Mr. Trump defended the ban as a important to national security.
However, the decision was met with protests across the country.