Trump’s travel ban faces multiple legal challenges

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By Mica Rosenberg and Doina Chiacu

<span class="articleLocation”>A U.S. appeal court’s refusal to reinstate a
temporary travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven
Muslim-majority countries is a setback for President Donald
Trump, but the government plans to fight back on multiple legal
fronts.

The White House is not ruling out the possibility of
rewriting Trump’s Jan. 27 order in light of the actions by a
federal judge in Seattle and an appeals court in San Francisco
putting the directive on hold, an administration official said.

“The administration is looking through all the options on
how to move forward. But we’d like to win the case in court,”
the official said.

“SEE YOU IN COURT,” Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday
after Thursday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which upheld a lower
court’s suspension of his ban.

The administration has been defending the executive order in
the case that produced Thursday’s ruling and in more than a
dozen additional lawsuits now moving through the U.S. court
system. The administration could appeal the 9th Circuit ruling
to the U.S. Supreme Court as early as Friday.

The Republican president, who has repeatedly expressed
frustration with the week-old court-mandated suspension, tweeted on Friday that the decision was “disgraceful.”

Trump’s order, which he has called a national security
measure to head off attacks by Islamist militants, barred people
from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from
entering for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days, except
refugees from Syria, who are banned indefinitely.

Thursday’s court decision related only to whether to
maintain the decision by U.S. District Judge James Robart in
Seattle to suspend the order, and did not resolve the lawsuit
against the ban brought by the states of Washington and
Minnesota. Those states have argued the ban violated
constitutional protections against religious discrimination.

The government has 14 days to ask the 9th Circuit to have a
larger panel of judges review the decision “en banc,” or to
appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will likely
determine the case’s final outcome.

In condemning the decision, Trump on Friday cited a security
blog, Lawfare, as noting the panel had not cited the statute
underpinning his order, a president’s power to bar or restrict
foreigners from entering the country if they would harm U.S.
interests. [bit.ly/2ka0Wjs
]

The Lawfare article added that the appeals court was right
to leave the suspension of the ban in place, as “there is no
cause to plunge the country into turmoil again while the courts
address the merits of these matters over the next few weeks.”

The travel ban, the most contentious action Trump has taken
since he was sworn in on Jan. 20, sparked protests and chaos at
U.S. and overseas airports on the weekend after it was issued,
as well as legal challenges. The number of pending cases
increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court will ultimately
have to decide the fate of the policy.

The nine-member Supreme Court is currently ideologically
split, with four liberal justices and four conservatives,
pending Senate confirmation of Trump’s conservative nominee,
Neil Gorsuch, to the bench.

On Friday, a federal court in Virginia will hold a hearing
on a request for a preliminary injunction on aspects of the ban
in a case brought by the state of Virginia on behalf of legal
permanent residents detained at Dulles International Airport
outside Washington or denied entry after the ban went into
effect.

MULTIPLE CASES

Some of the cases were filed on behalf of travelers from the
countries affected by the ban, who were detained at U.S.
airports upon arriving in the country.

Others have been filed by states, civil liberties groups and
refugee resettlement agencies with companies and non-profit
organizations joining in with supporting briefs.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit on behalf of
all the affected people who were in transit at the time the ban
took effect or who were detained on arrival in the country,
including two Iraqis with connections to the U.S. military.

A district judge in Brooklyn issued a nationwide emergency
order, which is still in place, preventing the removal of such
travelers.

Federal District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston ruled very
differently, upholding Trump’s order in a case originally
brought on behalf of two Iranian permanent residents of the
United States who were detained on arriving in Boston.

There are now cases moving through 11 of the 13 U.S. appeals
court circuits. And that does not include many additional habeas
petitions, or challenges to detention, filed on behalf of
individual people detained at airports after the ban, the
majority of which would have been dropped after people were
released.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland)



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