Federal appeals court maintains ban on immigration order

Washington, (IANS) A federal appeals court on Friday maintained the ban on US President Trumps immigration order letting barred refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries to continue entering the country.

A panel with the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the ruling of US District Judge James Robart decided that Trump’s temporary travel ban should be put on hold. The Department of Homeland Security soon suspended all enforcement of Trump’s controversial directive, The Washington Post reported.

The Justice Department, representing the Trump administration, could now ask the Supreme Court to intervene. The Supreme Court, though, remains one justice short, and many see it as ideologically split 4-4. A tie would keep in place whatever the appeals court decides.

The lawyers representing the sides faced skeptical questioning with the panel seemed interested in what evidence Trump relied upon in implementing his order and what limits the Justice Department saw on the President’s authority to set immigration policy.

Washington state Solicitor General Noah Purcell asserted that reinstating the ban would “throw the country back into chaos,” and he pleaded with judges to maintain the status quo of the past several days.

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