On Thursday February 9th the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the decision of Judge James L. Robart of the Federal District Court’s order which blocked Trump’s Executive Order restricting immigration to America from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The Government moved for an emergency stay of the District Court’s temporary restraining order while its appeal of that order proceeds. The panel denied the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal.
The three-judge panel came to an unanimous decision. Some of the issues addressed by the panel were:
- The States (Washington and Minnesota) argued that the Court of Appeals lacked authority to review the lower court’s “temporary restraining order”, given that a temporary restraining order is ordinarily not appealable. However, the panel rejected this argument stating that they can review it if it “possesses the qualities of a preliminary injunction”, which the Order possesses those qualities.
- The Government argued that the District Court lacked jurisdiction because the States had no standing to sue. The States alleged that the Order impacted them and that their universities have suffered because their faculty and student who are nationals from the seven countries are affected. The panel decided that the States have shown sufficient evidence to support standing, at least within the preliminary stage of the litigation. They concluded that the States have alleged harms to their proprietary interest traceable to the Order.
- The Government asserted that the District Court did not have authority to enjoin enforcement of the Order because President Trump has “unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens”. The panel dismissed this argument and stated that the claim of unreviewability “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy” and that the federal judiciary has the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action.
Upon touching on other points brought up by both side, the panel concluded that the Government has not shown that a stay is necessary to avoid irreparable injury. The Government stay of the District Court’s order pending the current appeal was rejected by the panel.
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the view of the CCLA or PBSC.