In a stunning rebuke of President Donald Trump’s executive order denying entry to visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, a federal appeals court declined to block a lower-court’s ruling which suspended the ban.
The ruling means that travelers from those countries can continue to enter the US.
It’s likely the decision will be appealed and head to the Supreme Court. President Trump tweeted, “See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake.”
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
The ruling, which was unanimous among the three judges who heard the appeal, said the government did not present any evidence showing that such a policy needed to be implemented immediately.
"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."
The executive order, which Trump signed Jan. 27, just a week into his presidency, threw the country into chaos as thousands of people were denied entry into the United States without warning. Families were torn apart, students denied access to their schools, medical patients forced to go without proper care.
People responded with widespread protests that spanned the globe, with thousands flooding airports, offering free legal advice to travelers caught in limbo, and corporations stepping in to help where possible.
Last week, the order was suspended after US District Judge James Robart in Washington issued a temporary restraining order after his state and Minnesota sued.
Justice Department lawyers filed an appeal to the 9th Circuit, “arguing that the president has the constitutional power to restrict entry to the United States and that the courts cannot second-guess his determination that such a step was needed to prevent terrorism,” according to the AP.
Global Citizen has been campaigning to get the Trump Administration to reverse the travel ban since it specifically targets and restricts refugees.