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Federal Appeals Court Denies Trump's Appeal to Reinstate Travel Ban

By Ben Fractenberg | February 9, 2017 6:25pm | Updated on February 9, 2017 6:55pm
 Hundreds of protesters chanted,
Hundreds of protesters chanted, "Let them in" outside Terminal 4 at JFK Airport on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017.
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DNAinfo/Irene Plagianos

NEW YORK CITY — A federal appeals court declined to reinstate President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on seven primarily Muslim countries Thursday.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, denied an appeal by the Justice Department after hearing arguments earlier in the week. The ruling is expected to go to to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling came after a federal judge in Seattle last week placed a stay on Trump's executive order, allowing travelers and refugees from Syria, Somalia, Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Sudan to again enter the country. 

The three judges said in their unanimous decision that the judiciary branch has the right to rule on challenges to executive orders. 

"In short, although courts owe considerable deference to the President’s policy determinations with respect to immigration and national security, it is beyond question that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action," the judges wrote. 

The Trump administration has said that the executive branch has the authority to restrict immigration. 

The government's lawyer, August E. Flentje, argued during Tuesday's appeal hearing that it was not up to the courts or states to take part in "very troubling second guessing" of a presidential order concerning "national security." 

Flentje asked for any ruling to at most be limited to "previously admitted aliens" covered in the State of Washington's case. 

Washington State Solicitor General Noah Purcell argued it was up to the judicial branch to act as a check on the executive if an order potentially violated federal law and protections, which has "never been more important in recent memory than it has today." 

He added that rescinding the stay and allowing the travel ban to resume would also "throw this country back into chaos."

The president blasted the decision on Twitter and vowed to keep up the legal battle.