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NEW YORK The U.S. government took the legal
battle over President Donald Trump’s travel ban to a higher
court on Friday, saying it would appeal a federal judge’s
decision that struck down parts of the ban on the day it was set
to go into effect.
The Department of Justice said in a court filing it would
appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in
Maryland to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond,
Chuang on Thursday issued an emergency halt to the portion
of Trump’s March 6 executive order temporarily banning the entry
of travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. He left in
place the section of the order that barred the entry of refugees
to the United States for four months.
Another federal judge in Hawaii struck down both sections of
the ban in a broader court ruling that prevented Trump’s order
from moving forward.
The decisions came in response to lawsuits brought by
states’ attorneys general in Hawaii and refugee resettlement
agencies in Maryland who were represented by the American Civil
Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center.
Detractors argue the ban discriminated against Muslims in
violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of religious
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a press
briefing the government would “vigorously defend this executive
order” and appeal the “flawed rulings.”
He said the plan was to appeal at the 4th Circuit first and
then seek clarification of Hawaii’s ruling before appealing to
the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The 9th Circuit court last month upheld a decision that
halted an original, more sweeping travel ban signed by the
President on Jan. 27. The new executive order was reissued with
the intention of overcoming the legal concerns.
Trump has vowed to take the fight all the way to U.S.
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