- Angry President lashes out, warns of security risk
- Vows to overturn ruling at the Supreme Court
The United States (US) Court of Appeals has endorsed the ruling of the Federal Court rejecting President Donald Trump’s attempt to reinstate his ban on visitors from seven mainly Muslim countries.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in its ruling on Thursday said it would not block a lower-court ruling that halted the order.
But Trump has responded to this legal reversal with an angry tweet, warning that the US national security was at risk and there would be a legal challenge at the Supreme.
The three Judges of the appellate court in a unanimous decision (3-0) said the government had not proved the terror threat justified reviving the ban.
Against this backdrop, the vetted travellers from the seven countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, who are with visas can continue to enter the US.
In the same vein, refugees from around the world, who were also subject to a temporary ban, are no longer blocked either.
The Judges verdict
According to report, the three judges rejected the argument, made by the Justice Department on behalf of the US government, that the president had sole discretion to set immigration policy.
The court also said there was “no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order” had committed a terror attack in the US.
They said both sides had made some compelling cases.
“On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies.
“And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination.”
But they said the executive order stripped foreign arrivals of their rights under the Constitution.
However, Trump has dismissed the ruling by tweeting his dissent, and then gave an audio statement saying it was a political decision.
Also, the Justice Department, which made representations to the appeals court on behalf of the White House, said in a statement it was “reviewing the decision and considering its options”.
But the Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who had sued over the ban, said it was a complete victory for the state.
Similarly, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said: “Here in New York – the safest big city in America – we will always protect our neighbours, no matter where they came from or when they got here. Those are our values.”
How it all began
President Trump had within the first week i office, issued an executive order for a temporary ban on all travellers from the seven countries including an indefinite halt on Syrian refugees from entering the US.
This decision was however greeted with outrage from sections of the US, sparking protests and confusion as people were stopped at the air ports and borders.
Then a week later, a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order that stopped the ban in its tracks, after Washington State and Minnesota sued.
The Justice Department appealed to the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, which heard oral arguments this week.
Lawyers representing the US government argued that the ban was a “lawful exercise” of presidential authority.
But the two US states said the ban had harmed universities in their states and discriminated against Muslims.
The appeal judges did not rule on the constitutionality or the merits of the law, just on the question of its reinstatement.
The lower court in Seattle must still debate its merits and there are other legal challenges across the country.