A federal appeals court ruled Friday the latest version of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban policy should be partially blocked because the president appears to have exceeded his authority in issuing the directive, The New York Times reports.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Seattle affirmed the decision of a federal judge in Hawaii who ruled on October 17 that the order was unlawful on statutory grounds.
The ruling on Friday was a procedural but important step. This month, the Supreme Court allowed the ban — the third version issued by the Trump administration — to take effect for now, and encouraged the appeals courts to rule on the case, a sign that it intended to take up the matter. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is considering a similar ruling out of Maryland.
Neal Katyal, who argued the case before the Ninth Circuit court for the state of Hawaii, hailed the decision. “We are very pleased the Court of Appeals recognized that the president’s latest travel ban is flatly illegal,” he said, “and that his order defies the law Congress has laid down.”
Lauren Ehrsam, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said the Trump administration was “pleased” that the Supreme Court had already allowed the government to carry out the order.