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Opponents of Trump Travel Order Hail Appeals Court Ruling, Rip 'Ban'

Opponents of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration celebrated an appeals court ruling that keeps the order on hold.
Image: Senate Minority Leader Democrat Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 7.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York at a news conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.Michael Reynolds / EPA

Opponents of President Donald Trump's executive order suspending entry to the United States of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations renewed their criticism after an appeals court ruled against the administration.

"President Trump ought to see the handwriting on the wall that his executive order is unconstitutional," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said in a statement. "He should abandon this proposal, roll up his sleeves and come up with a real, bipartisan plan to keep us safe."

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused the Justice Department's request Thursday to reinstate the executive order, which restricted entrance by people from Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The panel voted 3-0 on the request to stay the order of a lower-court judge last week blocking it.

Trump responded minutes after the ruling on Twitter, saying "SEE YOU IN COURT." The president told reporters "it was a political decision" and predicted, "We're going to win the case."

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose legal challenge led to the order's being blocked for the time being, said the appeals court ruling shows that the president is not above the law.

Asked about Trump's tweet that "the security of our nation is at stake," Ferguson replied: "We have seen him in court twice, and we're two for two. ... In my view, the future of the Constitution is at stake."

"We respect that the president has broad authority when it comes to issuing executive orders, but they still have to follow the Constitution — that's the bottom line," Ferguson said. "And we firmly believe that this executive order does not."

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted "3-0," an apparent reference to the unanimous court decision.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, another former presidential candidate, also weighed in, saying in a statement: "Hopefully, the unanimous court ruling against President Trump's immigration ban will restore some of the damage he has done to our country's reputation around the world."

The International Rescue Committee and Amnesty International were among many groups hailing the decision. But the Council on American-Islamic Relations warned that the ruling is not the end, saying, "This victory should not lead to complacency."

"I am heartened that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals showed that care for refugees and commitment to American security go together," International Rescue Committee President and Chief Executive David Miliband said in a statement.

"The confusion and chaos that resulted from the Administration's hasty and harmful executive order should be a lesson to keep intact carefully developed procedures that have kept America safe," Miliband said

Critics have called Trump's order a "Muslim ban." Trump has denied the characterization.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted a photo of Sally Yates, whom Trump fired as acting attorney general for directing Justice Department lawyers not to defend the executive order, with the words "vindicated. 3-0."

Kellyanne Conway, Trump's presidential counselor, said that the ruling was not on the merits of the case. She said of the Trump's response: "I think his tweet was perfect when he said, 'I'll see you in court.'"

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has also filed legal challenges over the order, turned the president's "see you in court" tweet against him.

"We have been saying this for a while," the group said on Twitter.