On Monday, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal appeals court to reject the Trump administration’s bid to undo a Hawaii federal judge’s decision that blocked the temporary travel ban in a dispute headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three-judge panel said Trump’s March 6 order violated existing immigration law, but did not address whether it was unconstitutional discrimination against Muslims.
President Trump’s 90-day ban targets travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. “Well, as predicted, the 9th Circuit did it again – Ruled against the TRAVEL BAN at such a dangerous time in the history of our country. S.C.,” President Trump said in a post on Twitter, apparently referencing the Supreme Court.
The nation’s top court, which leans conservative after President Trump’s appointee won confirmation as the ninth justice earlier this year, could act as soon as this week on his administration’s request to reinstate the order.
The 9th Circuit, headed by Democratic appointees, largely left in place a nationwide injunction by Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii that stopped parts of the order, which President Trump contends is needed to prevent terrorism in the United States.
Those who have challenged the travel ban dispute that it is needed to protect Americans and argue that the order violates the U.S. Constitution’s bar against favoring or disfavoring a particular religion.
Another appeals court, the Richmond, Virginia-based, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, last month upheld a Maryland judge’s ruling that also blocked President Trump’s ban.
President Trump has been on the losing side in all four court rulings on the March order and has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency review.
In a statement on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Trump’s executive order was lawful and that the court rulings have had a “chilling effect” on security operations.