In the latest legal blow to President Donald Trump's attempt to institute a controversial immigration and travel ban targeting seven predominantly Muslim nations, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday unanimously sided with a lower court which earlier this week imposed an injunction against Trump's executive order.
The ruling from the 9th Circuit, which followed a hearing on the case on Tuesday, does not resolve the lawsuit, but relates instead to whether Trump's order should be suspended while litigation proceeds.
Two members of the three-judge panel were appointed by former Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, and one was appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush.
The government could ask the entire 9th Circuit court to review the decision "en banc" or appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three judges said the states had shown that even temporary reinstatement of the ban would cause harm.
Read the full Ninth Circuit decision here (pdf).
Omar Jadwa, director of the Immigrants' Rights Project at the ACLU, which has also challenged the policy, welcomed the decision.
"The appeals court's refusal to reinstate the Muslim ban is correct," Jadwa said in a statement. "We will keep fighting this un-American executive order until it is permanently dismantled."
Meanwhile, Sahil Kapur, national political reporter for Bloomberg, points out some key takeaways from the ruling:
Fascinating: 9th Circuit opinion uses President Trump's own words about a Muslims ban against him. pic.twitter.com/nzfnHDTi34— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 9, 2017
9th Circuit devotes five pages to disputing Trump DOJ's contention about the courts' authority to review his actions, and concludes w/ this. pic.twitter.com/WJFpn9KpaB— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 9, 2017
And whereas President Trump himself responded to the ruling by tweeting, "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"" -- it was ACLU attorneys who said they look forward to the opportunity:
True. Our nation's security, liberty, and constitutional form of govt are at stake. That's why we'll keep seeing YOU in court, Mr. Pres. https://t.co/N03snHJMRP— Cecillia Wang (@WangCecillia) February 9, 2017
You bet! But the writing is on the wall: tear down your unconstitutional Executive Order! https://t.co/YXvvHpZNv9— Jamil Dakwar (@jdakwar) February 9, 2017