The temporary restraining order that stopped President Trump’s travel ban on people entering the country from seven predominantly Muslim countries will stay in place, according to a ruling late Thursday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed the lower court’s ruling that blocked Trump’s executive order on immigration.
The court’s decision was announced late Thursday afternoon.
Elected leaders in Washington state said they were pleased with the decision.
“No one is above the law, not even the president,” said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“The president should withdraw this flawed, rushed and dangerous executive order, which caused chaos across the country,” Ferguson added. “If he refuses, I will continue our work to hold him accountable to the Constitution.”
The executive order — signed by Trump earlier this month — banned refugees from entering the United States and prompted the detention of refugees, permanent legal residents with green cards and others at airports around the country, including Seattle.
Critics called the executive order a “Muslim ban,” as it is targeted at those traveling to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.
The quick rollout of the ban led to confusion at airports nationwide, and Ferguson immediately vowed to challenge the executive order in federal court.
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) thanked Ferguson following Thursday’s decision.
“I am glad the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals thinks Washington state got it right,” Cantwell said in a statement.
“Thanks to the Washington state attorney general, Washington state businesses and all involved in the U.S. District Court case, these important Constitutional issues will be addressed. And in the meantime, travel will continue and families can be reunited,” she said.
Added Gov. Jay Inslee, who supported the court challenge and also met personally with travelers to Washington state caught up in the ban: “Today’s decision to uphold Judge Robart’s order is a victory for Washington state and indeed the entire country. Thank you to Attorney General Ferguson and Solicitor General Noah Purcell for their diligent work on behalf of our state.
“The decision underscores the serious constitutional issues with President Trump’s executive order and emphasizes what Attorney General Ferguson has said throughout this case: that no one is above the law, not even the president.
“Since the restraining order was issued, in our state we’ve seen a Somali man reunited with his wife, an American citizen. An Iraqi global health leader able to rejoin his colleagues at the University of Washington. And a graduate student studying HIV vaccines to return to continue his important work,” Inslee said.
“I’m proud of that Washington is a national leader in this fight. We were the first state to stand against this executive order. But all Americans need to be willing to stand and fight for our democracy, everywhere, every time, and in every way it is threatened,” the governor said.