A ruling Thursday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judge's temporary restraining order (TRO) that blocked the "travel ban" executive order from President Donald Trump that halted refugee admissions and entry to the US by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
The initial ruling on February 3 from federal circuit court Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, temporarily suspended the sweeping executive order that caused chaos and protests at the nation's airports after citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen were detained abruptly.
The Ninth Circuit—notorious for being one of the most liberal in the US—was not ruling on whether the executive order should stand, but whether the TRO should stay in place. On that score, they were unanimous, writing that the government's lawyers had failed to demonstrate that the Trump administration would succeed "on the merits of its appeal." It also noted that the government had not proven that the stay "would cause irreparable injury."
Trump, whose public criticism of Robart earned him criticism from his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, responded to the ruling immediately and in all caps:
It's not clear whether the Trump administration will appeal to the Supreme Court, which only has eight justices at the moment with Gorsuch unconfirmed.