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DOJ drops legal fight over travel ban as Trump promises new executive order

DOJ stated that a 'substantially revised' executive order is on the way.


Amrita Khalid


Posted on Feb 16, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 11:48 pm CDT

The Trump administration is pulling back from its legal fight over President Donald Trump‘s travel ban as it prepares to issue a new executive order.

The Department of Justice on Thursday rescinded its request to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for a full re-hearing of the case over the Trump administration’s travel by the court’s 29 active judges.

The DOJ filed an opinion with the Ninth Circuit that stated it no longer seeks the full court’s review of the travel ban in light of the fact that Trump will soon issue a new executive order. 

“Rather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns,” said the DOJ in its brief

The DOJ’s decision came on the heels of a White House press conference in which Trump blasted the Ninth Circuit for ruling against his controversial executive order that barred refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. 

The travel ban sparked an immediate backlash in both the courts and the streets, as visa holders were barred entry and refugees were sent back to dangerous locations.

The Ninth Circuit’s 3-0 ruling on Feb. 9 maintained a temporary stay that prevented U.S. immigration officials from enforcing the travel ban. 

But not everyone in the “very liberal” Ninth Circuit, as the president characterized it, was likely unhappy with the court’s ruling on the case, officially known as State of Washington and Minnesota v. President Trump. At least one of the 29 active judges in the Ninth Circuit requested an en banc hearing, which would mean that eleven or potentially the full court of 29 judges would hear the case. Such an en banc hearing would have allowed for judges to issue dissenting opinions. 

Trump during Thursday’s press conference said that the new executive actions on travel would be issued sometime next week. 

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*First Published: Feb 16, 2017, 3:45 pm CST