Molly McKitterick, VOA News
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is appealing the stay placed on President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to people from six majority-Muslim countries and halting refugee admissions.
A U.S. federal judge extended a suspension of the travel order Wednesday, placing a preliminary injunction against Trump’s order at the request of the state of Hawaii. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson had temporarily prohibited the government from enforcing the order in a March 15 decision.
Both orders apply nationwide.
Watson wrote that the circumstances that led to his initial decision have not changed, including Hawaii’s argument that remarks by Trump and his associates have singled out Muslims.
The judge said the state has sufficiently established a likelihood it would succeed in challenging the ban on the grounds it violates a constitutional clause that requires government actions to have a primarily secular purpose.
The government appeal was filed in the ninth circuit court of appeals Thursday. The ninth circuit has already played a role in the travel ban saga, upholding a temporary stay placed on the earlier executive order limiting travel signed by the president.
Trump has vowed to continue fighting legal challenges to his order, taking them up to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Trump’s campaign for president once included a call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, a policy that was later changed to advocating “extreme vetting” for people from certain countries.