Justice Dept. appeals federal judge’s ruling halting immigration order

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The Justice Department on Saturday evening filed a notice that it will formally appeal a federal judge’s ruling halting President Trump’s immigration order.

Justice Department Attorney Michelle Bennett’s filing was made in response to a temporary nationwide restraining order issued Friday that halted Trump’s executive order banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States.

The case now goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

“We’ll win. For the safety of the country we’ll win,” Trump told reporters Saturday evening at his private Mar-a-Lago resort, where he is spending the weekend.

{mosads}Throughout the day Saturday, Trump criticized Judge James Robart and his ruling Friday in a case involving Washington and Minnesota that stopped Trump’s order immediately.

Trump called Robart, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2003, a “so-called judge” while blasting his decision as “ridiculous.”

Vice President Pence defended Trump’s criticism of the federal judge, telling ABC News that Americans are “very accustomed to this president speaking his mind and speaking very straight with them.”

Trump continued to express his annoyance with the ruling throughout the day, doubling down on his view that Robart’s decision was flawed.

“What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?” the president asked in a tweet.

“Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision,” Trump tweeted an hour later.

The president’s flurry of tweets stretched into the evening when he claimed that “bad people are very happy” about the ruling.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Friday praised the decision to halt Trump’s order, saying, “No one is above the law — not even the president.” 

“It’s our president’s duty to honor this ruling and I’ll make sure he does,” Ferguson said.

The White House issued a statement Friday indicating that it would appeal the judge’s ruling.

“At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate,” the White House’s late Friday statement read. 

The White House initially labeled the judge’s action an “outrageous order” but within 10 minutes had sent a second, nearly identical statement that stripped out that language.

“The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people,” it continued. 

In an interview with CNN on Friday evening, Ferguson said he “expected win, lose or draw” that the case would move “fairly quickly through, up to the 9th Circuit” Court of Appeals — “just because of the magnitude of the executive order.”

“I’m prepared for this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court whichever way the 9th Circuit Court of appeals goes,” he said, anticipating a challenge to Robart’s ruling.

“It’s a case of that magnitude, it’s a case that frankly I think will ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, so that would not surprise me one way or the other.”

Trump’s action bans people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia from entering the U.S. for 90 days, and temporarily halts the United States’ refugee resettlement program for 120 days, while indefinitely suspending resettlement for refugees from Syria.

The order, issued last Friday, immediately stirred controversy when travelers who were en route to the U.S. when it was signed were detained at airports. Protesters demonstrated at airports across the county last weekend.

CNN reported that Customs and Border Protection held a 9 p.m. call with airlines and said it’s “back to business as usual” in the wake of the judge’s action.

Airports started allowing residents to enter the United States on Saturday, and the Department of Homeland Security reversed the revocation of 60,000 visas all in response to the judge’s ruling

Nikita Vladimirov contributed

Updated: 9:07 p.m.

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