The Trump administration on Friday filed papers to appeal a ruling that blocked the president's revised travel ban, setting up a new legal showdown over the executive order that opponents have called "Muslim ban 2.0."
Attorneys for the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed federal papers in Maryland, one of the two states that issued rulings against President Donald Trump's executive order this week. Judges in that state and Hawaii both found that the memo, which blocks entry to the U.S. for travelers from six majority-Muslim countries, was unconstitutional and violated the religious freedom clause of the First Amendment.
The DOJ only appealed Maryland's decision. Had the department challenged the ruling in Hawaii, the appeal would have gone to the same San Francisco court that rejected the original version of the travel ban.
Instead, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia will hear the new arguments.
William Jay, a former DOJ lawyer who specializes in appellate cases, told the Washington Post that another reason the administration is focusing on the Maryland decision is because it was a preliminary injunction, which is typically easier to appeal than temporary restraining orders, which the judge in Hawaii issued.
Omar Jadwat of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who represents the plaintiffs in the Maryland case, said that the rights group looks forward to taking on the case.
"President Trump's Muslim ban has fared miserably in the courts, and for good reason—it violates fundamental provisions of our Constitution. We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court," he said.