The Trump administration faces several hurdles in its effort to permanently reinstate an executive order that bans travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations as well as refugees.
By blocking enforcement of the measure Friday, a federal district judge in Washington state set up a judicial process that appears to favor immigration rights groups and other opponents to the ban at every potential stage of the process.
The Trump administration on Saturday night formally declared it was appealing the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Early Sunday, the appeals court denied the Justice Department’s request for an immediate reinstatement of the executive order. It asked challengers of the ban to respond to the appeal, and for the Justice Department to file a counter-response by Monday afternoon.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, is considered the nation’s most liberal, with 18 judges named by Democratic presidents and only seven by Republicans.
From the start, the administration faced an uphill battle in Judge James Robart’s court. “The states are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief,” he said in his seven-page order, referring to Washington state and Minnesota, which joined the case.