A US federal appeals court on Thursday unanimously upheld a temporary suspension of President Donald Trump's order that barred entry into the US to people from seven Muslim-majority countries and put on hold the US refugee programme.
TRT World's Christine Pirovolakis has more.
The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's request to reinstate the ban on an emergency basis, meaning a lower court’s suspension of the travel ban stands for now.
“See you in court. The security of our nation is at stake,” Trump reacted on his Twitter account soon after the ruling.
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
"It's a political decision," Trump told reporters who had gathered outside his press secretary's office.
Trump said he did not view the ruling as a major setback.
The ruling came in a challenge to Trump's order filed by the states of Washington and Minnesota.
TRT World's Rachel Silverman reports from San Francisco.
The US Supreme Court will likely determine the case's final outcome.
The White House said it had no immediate comment.
Trump's January 27 executive order blocked entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and imposed a 120-day halt on all refugees, except refugees from Syria, who are barred indefinitely.
US District Judge James Robart suspended Trump's order last Friday.
The order led to a debate on social media with some praising the judges while others voicing concern.
— Marco Avellaneda (@MAvellaneda55) February 10, 2017
The ruling from the 9th Circuit was issued following its hearing on the case on Tuesday.
The judgement does not resolve the lawsuit, but relates instead to whether Trump's order should be suspended while litigation proceeds.
9th Circ. Judges:
- Did not make decision based on law & facts
- Abused their power for political reasons
- Violated their oaths#TravelBan
— Scott Ernst 🇺🇸 (@ScottErnst0331) February 9, 2017
Two members of three-judge panel that ruled were appointed by former Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, and one was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
Either side could decide to appeal directly to the US Supreme Court.
Trump had said the order was vital for national safety and criticised Robart, the Seattle judge, for suspending it and called the US courts “so political”.