Travel Ban Ruling: 9th Circuit upholds stay of Trump's travel ban in win for opponents

AP

A nationwide stay of President Donald Trump's travel ban was upheld Thursday by a panel of three federal judges, effectively blocking the enforcement of Trump's ban on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries as well as refugees from all over the world.

The stay does not mean Trump's travel ban is unconstitutional. Instead, it simply prohibits the ban's enforcement until the courts determine the legality of Trump's executive order.

Still, it's a win for opponents of the travel ban, who claim that the order, in essence, places a religious test on immigrants — which is unconstitutional thanks to the First Amendment. 

In the unanimous decision, the court said lawyers for the Trump administration failed to prove that a temporary hold on enforcing Trump's immigration order would "cause irreparable injury."

The court also ruled that the ban violated the due process of immigrants from the seven banned countries who were living in the U.S. on valid visas and who had traveled abroad. 

"The government has not shown that the executive order provides what due process requires, such as notice and a hearing prior to restricting an individual's ability to travel," the judges wrote in their opinion.

The ruling had more harsh words for the Trump administration, saying lawyers for the government "pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States."

What's more, the court also rebuked the Trump administration's "shifting interpretations" of the travel ban. 

Initially, Customs and Border Patrol agents were detaining legal permanent residents from some of the seven countries included in the ban, before the administration later clarified that class of immigrants should not have been included in the ban.

Trump, for his part, is unhappy about the court's ruling, tweeting in all caps, "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"

And while the Trump administration has yet to release a statement, that is a clear sign he will appeal the 9th Circuit ruling to the Supreme Court, which is still down one member thanks to Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

Since the court only has eight members, a 4-4 tie is possible. In the event of a tie, the 9th Circuit's ruling would stand. 

Feb. 9, 2017, 7:12 p.m.: This story has been updated.