The Donald Trump administration on Thursday appealed the ruling of a US federal judge in Hawaii who had a day prior maintained his freeze on the president’s revised restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries.
The Justice Department’s filing means the case will land back at the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a halt of Trump’s first travel ban before the president revised it.
The appeal comes a day after US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii dealt another blow to the White House, issuing a longer-lasting suspension of the president’s travel restrictions by changing it from a temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction.
Such an injunction generally has no set expiration date, said Hawaii state Attorney General Doug Chin, meaning Trump will be barred from enforcing the ban while it is contested in court.
“The court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has,” Watson wrote on Wednesday.
Trump’s revised travel ban aims to close US borders to nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, and all refugees for at least 120 days.
The original executive order included Iraq but that country was removed in the rewrite.
The Trump administration’s wide-ranging initial travel restrictions imposed on January 27 were slapped down by federal courts, after sparking international protests and chaos at US airports.
The president’s revised ban signed on March 6 had a reduced scope, exempting permanent US residents and valid visa holders — an effort by the administration to help it pass legal muster.
Both of the bans have been criticized as amounting to a ban on entry of Muslims into the US.
The president has said his proposed travel ban is needed to preserve US national security and keep out terrorists intent on doing harm to Americans.
The Justice Department on Thursday also asked a Seattle federal judge to suspend separate litigation filed by Washington State against Trump’s travel restrictions until after the 9th Circuit rules on the Hawaii appeal.
In addition, the Justice Department earlier this month appealed a ruling from a Maryland judge against Trump’s revised executive order. That case will be heard by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia.