Legally Speaking: The latest on Trump’s immigration ban and what could happen next
President Donald Trump’s executive order was issued on Friday, Jan. 27.
Starting the next day, numerous lawsuits around the country were filed against the executive order.
The district courts involved in these lawsuits issued orders against the executive order/immigration ban but were basically limited to the areas that the lawsuits were filed in.
On Jan. 30, the state of Washington filed a complaint in U.S. District Court asking the court to invalidate portions of the immigration ban.
On Feb. 1, Minnesota joined Washington as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Washington and Minnesota asked U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart for a temporary restraining order to stop the executive order from being implemented. In other words, the two states asked the District Court to put the immigration ban on hold.
Two days later, on Feb. 3, Robart did just that. He issued an order, on a nationwide basis, that stopped all federal defendants (the president, the Department of Homeland Security, etc.) from enforcing sections of the executive order that dealt with the 90-day suspension from the seven countries, the 120-day suspension of the refugee program and the indefinite suspension of refugees from Syria (other sections of the executive order were included as well).
Trump, through U.S. attorneys, filed an emergency motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to allow the immigration ban to continue until the same Court of Appeals decides whether Robart was wrong in putting the immigration ban on hold.
On Saturday, two judges of the three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request and allowed Robart’s order to stay in place. Basically they allowed the order to stay in place that stopped enforcement of the immigration ban.
On Tuesday, the three-judge panel heard oral arguments from the parties about whether Robart’s temporary restraining order should stay in place or be overturned. Both courts involved up to this point have acted very quickly showing the importance of the issues involved.
Everything that is going on in the Court of Appeals right now just has to do with Robart’s temporary order stopping enforcement of the immigration ban. The merits of the lawsuit, whether the executive order is constitutional and legal or not will be decided at a later time by Robart.
Once the three judges issue their opinion, it is likely the loser will appeal to the Supreme Court.
However, the Supreme Court will only be deciding whether Robart’s temporary order should remain in place or not. It will not be deciding the merits of the executive order and the immigration ban. That would come much later.
If the temporary order makes its way to SCOTUS, which could happen this week, we could get a glimpse of what the eight justices think about Trump’s executive order. That glimpse could change the entire course of the immigration ban.