U.S. court rejects bid to reinstate Trump travel ban

Casey Mills
February 7, 2017

Dozens of tech companies, including behemoths like Apple, Google, and Facebook, are siding with Washington state and Minnesota as they fight President Donald Trump's ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Almost 100 companies, including well-known technology firms such as Apple, Google, Twitter, and Uber, argued the executive order would spur companies to move overseas to ensure they had a steady supply of talent from around the world.

The president says national security is at risk as a result.

And hours later he continued his rant, asking: "What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into the US?"

The president's executive order summarily denied entry to all refugees, and travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen - a move critics charge will damage USA interests. "This is about making sure it's done the right way", he said.

US District Judge James Robart in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order, ruling Washington and Minnesota had standing and said they showed their case was likely to succeed.

Appeals courts are generally leery of upending the status quo, which in this case is the lower court's suspension of the ban.

He said Robart is known for his integrity and makes it a practice to avoid socializing with people who have cases before his court. Then, 9th Circuit Judges William C. Canby Jr., who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, and Michelle Taryn Friedland, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, denied the Justice Department's request on Sunday to immediately restore it.

"The state asks the courts to take the extraordinary step of second-guessing a formal national security judgment made by the president himself pursuant to broad grants of statutory authority", it argues in its latest brief.

The US State Department meanwhile released a statement saying that it had "reversed the provisional revocation of visas" in order to comply with the ruling. "They know if certain people are allowed in its death & destruction!"

The government relies on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which gave the president the power to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals if he determines their entry "would be detrimental to the interests of the United States".

The judge's ruling could be appealed on the 9th at the US.

The challenge to Trump's order is being led by the attorneys general from Washington state and Minnesota, with help from arguments filed by a broad ranges of groups, including 16 other states and the District of Columbia, two former secretaries of State, three former Central Intelligence Agency directors, 97 tech companies and 284 law professors.

In their court filing with the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a total of 97 companies said Trump's travel ban "hinders the ability of American companies to attract great talent; increases costs imposed on business; makes it more hard for American firms to compete in the global marketplace".

"He truly believes in the application of the Constitution and that due process and the Establishment Clause mean what they say", Smith said, referring to the Constitution's ban on government favoring a particular religion. "But the president has moved an incredible distance from a Muslim ban to where he is now... the policy is much, much better than where the president began during the campaign".

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is under litigation, told the Associated Press: "We are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and our legal teams to determine how this affects our operations". The seven countries listed in Trump's ban are 97% Muslim.

Other reports by MyHealthBowl

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