3 Judge panel unanimously upholds restraining order blocking the travel ban from 7 muslim majority countries.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s order blocking the Trump administration from enforcing its controversial immigration order, presenting the new president with his most significant legal defeat to date.
The court soundly rejected the Justice Department’s arguments against the restraining order. “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, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay,” the judges wrote in their 29-page decision.
The Trump administration defended its order on general national-security grounds, saying it was necessary while it conducts a comprehensive review of the nation’s security procedures at the border. But that argument held very little merit among the three judges, who noted the lack of proof offered by the DOJ lawyers during oral arguments on Wednesday.
“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 decision states. “Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all.” “We disagree,” they added. The decision is an important victory for judicial review of executive orders.
The decision is a major blow to the Trump Administration, which has vowed to take the order the Supreme Court. However, with the Gorsuch nomination still pending, the Supreme Court remains divided 4 to 4 (between conservative and liberal justices), so a required Trump 5-3 decision looks highly unlikely, depending on timing issues.
We at ILG applaud the decision, and hope that a strong judiciary can continue to play it's constitutional role and protect immigrants and other vulnerable groups from injustice.