A U.S. federal appeals court on Thursday afternoon unanimously upheld a temporary suspension of President Donald Trump‘s executive order restricting travel from seven countries, dealing a major legal setback to the new administration’s immigration policy.
The panel of three judges from the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block the lower-court ruling that suspended the ban, allowing previously barred travelers to enter the United States.
“We hold that the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay,” read Judge Michelle Friedland, Judge William Canby Jr, and Judge Richard Clifton’s 29-page ruling.
Trump’s controversial, Jan. 27 executive order barred entry for citizens from seven countries — 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.
Trump has since Tweeted a defiant response to the ruling, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
A White House appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is possible.