Stay of Travel Ban “Vastly Overbroad” Says DOJ

Federal lawyers called a Seattle judge’s order Friday that halted nationwide the Trump Administration’s travel ban so “vastly overbroad” that “it is untethered to Washington’s particular claims.”

The U.S. Justice Department filed a brief overnight on Saturday that asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on an emergency basis, to reinstate the travel ban imposed a week ago on seven Muslim-dominated countries.

The 9th Circuit responded in a one-page order Saturday that it wanted more time and wanted more information from both sides. An order signed by two judges instructed lawyers for the refugees to respond by Monday, no later than 1pm and for the government to reply to those arguments by 3pm Monday. The three-judge panel will rule following a review of the arguments.

After days of turmoil in airports around the U.S. and the Middle East, and a series of legal challenges, U.S. District Judge James Robart sided with Washington state and Minnesota and ordered a nationwide stay of the President’s executive order imposing the travel ban.

The DOJ immediately appealed and early on Saturday the appeals court kept the national stay in place for now, and ordered both sides to respond on Monday.

The travel ban affects citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, who already had been given visas to travel to the U.S. and refugees and others who had been living in the U.S. legally but were simply caught overseas traveling with no way to get home when the ban was imposed.

The DOJ argued the President imposed the temporary travel ban due to deteriorating conditions in the seven countries due to war, strife, disaster and civil unrest.

Robarts order “contravenes the considered judgment of Congress that the President should have the unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens,” the DOJ said in papers filed Saturday.

“The state has not shown that it faces irreparable harm during the temporary suspension of entries pending the national security review contemplated by the order,” the DOJ argued.

Washington argued in its motion for the original stay last week that the executive order violates due process and freedom to travel and will damage the state by hurting tax collections, tourism and foreign registration at state universities.

The government asks that the stay be lifted while the constitutional challenge is fought out in court and allow the seven-country travel ban to resume.

Judges William Canby, Richard Clifton and Michelle Friedland will hear and rule on the emergency appeal.

Case: Washington v. Trump, No. 15-35105


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