President Trump’s 90-day ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries is on hold for now after an appeals court refused to reinstate his temporary travel ban.
Three judges from San Francisco ruled Thursday afternoon that the government gave no evidence for the executive order to take effect immediately, so they decided not to overturn a lower court’s ruling.
The move comes after nearly two weeks of protests and legal challenges from the states of Washington and Minnesota.
"I'm surprised the federal courts are ruling this way because I don't think the states have standing,” said Gerald Treece, KHOU 11 Legal Analyst.
Now, Treece says travelers from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia will continue to be allowed into the U.S. with the right paperwork.
So where could this go next? KHOU has verified four possibilities:
No. 1: All the way to the Supreme Court. Minutes after the ruling, President Trump tweeted: "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
"A clock is running right now,” Treece said. “This whole order expires 90 days from the day it was issued…I doubt if the case can even by decided by the Supreme Court in that time frame."
Even if it does, the Supreme Court is short one justice and could very well deadlock 4-4 between liberal and conservative judges.
No. 2: Ask all 11 judges in that same San Francisco appeals court to re-hear the case.
"But why would they get involved?” Treece asked. “Right now the President has said he wants to take it to the Supreme Court. One thing about President Trump: If he said he's gonna do it, he'll probably do it."
No. 3: Keep Thursday’s appeals ruling and return to the federal judge in Seattle who initially blocked Trump's plan a week earlier.
Finally, President Trump could scrap this executive order and start over.
"What he should do is just rewrite this thing,” Treece said. “Listen to what the judges are saying, make it more narrowly tailored to cover the specific type of person that shouldn't come in here."
The Democratic National Committee responded to the ruling, saying in a statement that the court upheld that, "We do not discriminate based on religion... that’s what terrorists do, and that’s what terrorists want us to do."
(© 2017 KHOU)