Trump's travel ban will stay blocked — for now, federal appeals court rules

February 5, 2017, 11:35am

A federal court of appeals rejected an emergency request by Donald Trump’s administration in the early hours of Sunday morning to immediately restore the president’s controversial travel ban. The ruling means that the immigration order will remain suspended until the full case, initially filed by Washington State’s attorney general — and later joined by Minnesota — is heard.

The administration filed the appeal after U.S. District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle ruled Friday evening to temporarily slam the breaks on the ban, imposed two weeks ago. As a result, Customs and Border Protection immediately started restoring visas to those impacted by the executive order, which temporarily banned refugee resettlement — from Syria indefinitely — and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.


In its ruling Sunday, the San Francisco-based appeals court gave both sides in the lawsuit — State of Washington and State of Minnesota v. Trump — until Monday to present its arguments.

About 2,000 refugees were readying themselves to travel to the United States, a spokesperson for the International Organization of Migration told Reuters on Sunday. “We expect a small number of refugees to arrive in the U.S. on Monday, Feb. 6,“ Leonard Doyle said. “They are mainly from Jordan and include people fleeing war and persecution in Syria.”

Trump tweeted his displeasure with the court battle Sunday afternoon — although it’s unclear which case he was talking about, since two judges, Michelle Friedland and William Canby, handed down the appellate decision Sunday.

In a series of tweets unleashed Saturday, Trump also derided the “ridiculous” previous decision by a “so-called judge” in Seattle, which led to his appeal. The back-and-forth has some experts concerned about a constitutional showdown between the government’s executive and judiciary branches.

Editor’s note: An update to this story posted at 3:56 p.m. EST reflects Donald Trump’s latest tweets.