A federal appeals court in San Francisco declined Thursday to reinstate President Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down the Trump administration’s bid for an emergency stay of a lower court order suspending the ban.
The decision can be appealed to an expanded panel of the circuit court and to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ban, issued by Trump in an executive order on Jan. 27, would bar visitors and refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
It would stop refugees from all countries for 120 days and exclude Syrian refugees indefinitely.
The ban was blocked by a temporary restraining order issued on Friday by a federal trial judge in Seattle, acting in a lawsuit filed by Washington state and Minnesota. The two states were supported in briefs filed by 18 other states, including California.
The U.S. Department of Justice contended the ban was within the president’s power to determine national security risks.
The states have argued the ban discriminates against Muslims, denies visitors due process, and would harm the states’ universities, medical institutions and tax revenue.
If the temporary restraining order is left in place during possible future appeals, the case will go back to U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle for proceedings on whether to grant a longer-term injunction.