Federal Judge Blocks Travel Ban, Justice Dept. Appeals

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on Tuesday regarding the Trump administration's targeted travel ban and the limits of executive authority in cases of national security, The New York Times reported. In late January, President Trump issued, without warning, an executive order barring the entry of individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries and limiting the nation's refugee program.

Several courts around the nation moved to block aspects of Trump's order, but the broadest ruling was the one at issue in Tuesday's arguments in front of the Ninth Circuit. The panel considered an earlier ruling by Judge James L. Robart of the Federal District Court in Seattle, which issued a temporary restraining order freezing the ban, allowing previously barred travelers and immigrants to enter the country.

Ahead of oral arguments, attorneys general from 15 states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief in support of keeping the restraining order in place, reported Inside Higher Ed. The brief devotes multiple pages to the damage they argue the order has caused to public higher education institutions, including the potential loss of "hundreds of millions of tuition dollars" through disruptions in international student admissions.

In addition, by "preventing and dissuading scholars from coming to our institutions -- including scholars who had already committed to filling positions," the brief argues that the order has disrupted universities’ abilities to fill their staffing needs.

The appellate court is expected to issue a ruling on the case later this week. Regardless of the court’s decision, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is likely, according to the Times. The Supreme Court remains short-handed and could deadlock with a 4-to-4 vote, leaving the appeals court's ruling in place.

 

Related Links

The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/us/politics/trump-immigration-ban-hearing-appeal.html

Inside Higher Ed

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/02/07/16-attorneys-general-trump-order-harms-higher-ed