US appeals court rules against Trump on travel ban

2017-02-10 06:10
(Saul Loeb, AFP)

(Saul Loeb, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - A US court on Thursday unanimously refused to reinstate Donald Trump's ban on refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, dealing the new president and his controversial law-and-order agenda a major defeat.

The ruling from the federal appeals court in San Francisco on Trump's executive order, issued on January 27 with no prior warning and suspended by a lower court a week later, capped a turbulent first three weeks of his presidency.

A defiant Trump quickly pledged to battle on, tweeting within minutes of the decision: "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"

The Justice Department had asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to restore the measure on an emergency basis, but the three-judge panel instead maintained the suspension ordered by a federal judge in Seattle.

"We hold that the government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury," the judges ruled.

Trump's decree summarily denied entry to all refugees for 120 days, and travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Refugees from Syria were blocked indefinitely.

The new Republican administration argued the ban was needed to prevent Islamic State and al-Qaeda fighters migrating from reaching US soil, but it sparked travel chaos and was roundly rejected by immigration advocacy groups.

Critics say the measure targeted Muslims in violation of US law.

Now, the case could end up in the Supreme Court.

Court's logic

The court in San Francisco said aspects of the public interest favoured both sides, highlighting the "massive attention" the case had drawn.

"On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies," the ruling said.

"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."

While acknowledging that the Seattle judge's ruling "may have been over-broad in some respects," the panel said it was not their "role to try, in effect, to rewrite the executive order."

"The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States," the court said.

'No one is above the law'

Civil rights campaigners and state officials applauded the decision, vowing to fight on until the executive order was permanently scrapped. For now, it means that travellers with valid visas can continue to enter the country.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee, whose administration sued for the measure to be blocked, hailed a victory for his state and the country, arguing that the ruling showed "no one is above the law, not even the president."

Human Rights Watch senior researcher Grace Meng called the decision "an important declaration of judicial independence, which is crucial for checking harmful overreach by the president."

Trump had blasted the original suspension and decried the politicisation of the federal courts in a series of fiery tweets and public statements.

Republican lawmakers jumped to Trump's defence, with Senator Tom Cotton calling the ruling "misguided," while Democrats predictably hailed it.

"Pres Trump ought to see the writing on the wall, abandon proposal, roll up his sleeves & come up w/ a real, bipartisan plan to keep us safe," tweeted Senate Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer.

Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton tweeted simply: "3-0".

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.