WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Saturday moved to appeal a decision that temporarily halted enforcement of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The appeal concerns a late Friday decision by a US district court that halted the enforcement of Trump’s executive order. Trump’s policy banned travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, suspended all refugee entry to the US for 120 days and indefinitely suspended entry for Syrian refugees.
A notice of appeal was sent Saturday night to the US district court, where Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, presides in Seattle.
The Justice Department is expected to file its brief laying out its legal argument later Saturday night to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear the case.
The three judges who will likely hear the appeal — assuming no one has to step aside over any conflicts — are: Judge William Canby, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter; Richard Clifton, who was appointed by Bush; and Michelle Friedland, a President Barack Obama appointee.
Although it is unclear what form of relief the Justice Department will seek, the White House said Friday that it wants an “emergency stay” of Robart’s order. DOJ lawyers previously argued before Robart that the states that brought the lawsuit — Washington and Minnesota — didn’t have the right to sue in court because they haven’t been harmed.
But Robart disagreed and concluded that the states “have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the executive order.”
He went on to explain the order adversely affects residents in areas of education, employment, education and freedom to travel.
On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security announced it had suspended all actions to implement the immigration order and would resume standard inspections of travelers as it did prior to the signing of the travel ban.
This story has been updated to add details about the appeals process.