A US appeals court has denied the Justice Department's request to immediately restore a travel ban issued by President Trump. The administration has argued that a ruling suspending the ban "harms the public."
A US appeals court in San Francisco on Sunday rejected an emergency motion filed by the Justice Department to immediately reinstate a travel ban instigated by President Donald Trump.
"Appellants' request for an immediate administrative stay pending full consideration of the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied," said the ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The denial of an immediate stay to the ban, issued by Trump on January 27, means that the legal battles will continue for days at least.
The court ordered the states of Washington and Minnesota, which had filed the original suit against the travel ban, to supply documents supporting their opposition to the government's appeal by midnight on Sunday. The Department of Justice has until Monday afternoon to provide details backing its request to reinstate the ban.
'President's judgment questioned'
The ban, which forbade travelers from seven mainly Muslim countries to come to the US for 90 days as well as barring refugees from entry for 120 days, was halted by another court ruling handed down by a federal judge on Friday.
The Justice Department had argued that the suspension of the ban posed an immediate harm to the public, saying it also called into question the president's judgment on national security.
The administration said the travel ban was aimed at keeping terrorists out of the country.
Presidential Twitter tirades
Friday's ruling by US District Judge James Robart to suspend the ban prompted Trump to denounce the former in a series of tweets.
"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned," Trump wrote in one of his messages - an extremely rare attack on a federal judge by a sitting president.
He also told reporters he was sure that the appeal, filed late on Saturday, would be successful.
"We'll win. For the safety of the country, we'll win," he said.
The travel ban has provoked protests in the US and many other places around the world.
At least 2,000 people marched on Saturday near Trump's golf club in the US state of Florida.
The ban also caused chaos for many non-US nationals trying to reach the United States.
But government authorities have begun complying with the suspension of the ban, reopening the borders to those with valid travel documents.
tj/jlw (Reuters, AFP, AP)