Justice Department asks Seattle judge to defer action on Trump order

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By Dan Levine

<span class="articleLocation”>The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday a
U.S. appeals court should fully review the suspension of
President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban from seven-Muslim
majority countries before any more proceedings take place before
a Seattle federal judge.

Trump’s order, which he called a national security measure
meant to head off attacks by Islamist militants, barred people
from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from
entering for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days, except
refugees from Syria, who were banned indefinitely.

U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle suspended
Trump’s order after its legality was challenged by Washington
state, eliciting a barrage of angry Twitter messages from Trump
against the judge and the court system. That ruling was upheld
by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last
week, raising questions about Trump’s next step.

Following the 9th Circuit’s decision, Trump announced the
possibility of a “brand new order” that could be issued as soon
as this week. Trump gave no details of any new ban he is

He might rewrite the original order to explicitly exclude
green card holders, or permanent residents, a congressional aide
familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified, told
Reuters last week.

The Justice Department, in a court filing on Monday, did not
discuss the possibility of a new executive order. It said,
however, that Robart should hold off from further action for now
given activity at the appeals court.

An unidentified judge on the 9th Circuit on Friday requested
that the court’s 25 full-time judges vote on whether the
temporary block of Trump’s travel ban should be reheard before
an 11-judge panel, known as en banc review. The 9th Circuit
asked both sides to file briefs by Thursday.

The Justice Department did not say on Monday what position
it would take on the 9th Circuit’s en banc decision, or whether
it would ultimately appeal the suspension to the Supreme Court.

But it said the outcome of the 9th Circuit’s process “will
likely inform” what additional proceedings are necessary in

In a separate court filing on Monday, Washington’s attorney
general said a Seattle judge should immediately allow discovery
into the merits of its case.

Robart has scheduled a hearing to take place on the issue
later on Monday.

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