The motions panel of a U.S. federal appellate court ruled Thursday against reinstating the travel ban in a presidential executive order.
The three judges sitting on the motions panel of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco, presented their decision in 29 pages of writing released in the afternoon.
The latest development effectively maintained a temporary restraining order (TRO) imposed by a lower court judge against the travel ban, allowing citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East region with proper visas to enter the United States.
The motions panel heard oral arguments Tuesday pertaining to the executive order signed on January 27 by President Donald Trump that bars entry into the United States by nationals of the seven countries.
Last Friday, Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled in favor of the states of Washington and Minnesota and put the travel ban on hold, prompting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to appeal Saturday.
The two states filed a suit on January 30 before the district court and challenged the travel ban, citing harms to the states in areas including employment, education, trade, family relation and freedom of travel.
The DOJ, however, insisted that the ban is within the authority of the president.
In stead of initiating a full review of the case, the motions panel of the appellate court is in charge of specifically deciding whether to lift the TRO put in place by Judge Robart.