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Appeals court denies DOJ’s late-night bid to immediately restore travel ban

Cyrus Farivar
President Donald Trump, as seen on January 27, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.
Pool Photo/Getty Images
UPDATE Sunday 8:28am ET: The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the government's emergency request to stay the Washington federal judge's temporary restraining order. The 9th Circuit has ordered that the State of Washington file its response by 11:59pm Pacific Time on Sunday evening. The government, in turn, has until 3:00pm Monday Pacific Time to file its reply to Washington. We have changed the headline accordingly.
ORIGINAL STORY: Late Saturday evening Pacific Time, the Department of Justice officially filed its request for an emergency stay in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, in its attempt to halt the temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge in Washington just one day earlier.
The case, State of Washington v. Trump, which officially moved to the largest federal appellate district earlier in the day, is now just one step below the Supreme Court.
On Friday, US District Judge James L. Robart ruled against President Donald Trump’s executive order that aimed to restrict immigration by people from seven largely-Muslim countries—stopping it immediately nationwide. Following the order, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security said they would comply, according to the Washington Post.
As Ars reported earlier, officials from Expedia and Amazon had filed formal legal declarations earlier this week in support of Washington state’s federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn the executive order. Both companies said that their employees are directly affected by the president’s policy. Expedia further explained that its business interests would be negatively impacted if the order is allowed to stand.
A federal judge in Los Angeles granted a similar restraining order earlier in the week. So far, the government has lost all of its attempts to block such a restraining order. However, also on Friday, in yet another related case, a federal judge in Massachusetts declined to renew a temporary restraining order, which is set to expire on Sunday.
The 9th Circuit has yet to set a briefing schedule, nor has it slotted any oral arguments.
One attorney who previously served as a high-ranking official in the Civil Division during the Obama Administration, noted that the formal appearance in the appeal of the newly-appointed Acting Solicitor General (Noel Francisco), indicates that the DOJ is willing to fight the case tooth-and-nail.

A leg to stand on

In its opening salvo of legal arguments, government lawyers wrote that because it is well within the president's authority to control "the entry of aliens," the ruling by the lower district court in Washington was "vastly overbroad."
They continued:
The balance of harms weighs strongly in favor of a stay, as well as an immediate administrative stay pending consideration of the request for a full stay pending appeal. The injunction immediately harms the public by thwarting enforcement of an Executive Order issued by the President, based on his national security judgment. As the President acted well within both statutory and constitutional authorization, the relief irreparably harms our system of government by contravening the Constitution’s separation of powers. The State, by comparison, has identified only speculative harms it would suffer from temporary suspension of the entry of aliens affected by the Order, and that harm could be minimized by expediting appeal.
Like it did during the Friday hearing, the government's new motion focused on arguments that the State of Washington lacks standing to bring such a case. Federal lawyers claimed that the state's arguments that currently-abroad and potentially-affected University of Washington students or faculty may have trouble re-entering the country are "hypothetical or speculative."
The State of Washington will likely respond in the coming days.

Unleash the tweets

Multiple times on Saturday, the president tweeted his disapproval of Judge Robart’s ruling, including this one:
Speaking from his Mar-A-Lago property on Saturday afternoon, the president told reporters: "We'll win. For the safety of the country, we'll win."
In a short profile on Saturday, the New York Times described Judge Robart, who was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush, as a "mainstream Republican."
Appeals court denies DOJ’s late-night bid to immediately restore travel ban Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 11:48 PM Rating: 5

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