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Trump’s travel ban could remain blocked for weeks

By Jaweed Kaleem Los Angeles Times

A federal appeals court said Thursday that it would hear arguments in early May over the Trump administration’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling against its travel ban, potentially leaving the ban stalled for several more weeks.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals filed notice scheduling oral arguments for May 8 on the Department of Justice’s appeal. The federal government is asking the court to reverse a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland that called for a national halt to the 90-day ban in President Donald Trump’s executive order on travel from six majority-Muslim countries.

The Department of Justice said it plans to file a motion in the appeals court Friday asking for the Maryland decision to be reversed more quickly for national security purposes. According to the court’s schedule that was released Thursday, the court would wait until at least April 5 to rule on that request, though the process could take longer.

U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang’s decision in the Maryland case against the travel ban came down on March 16, the day the ban was supposed to go into effect. A day earlier, a federal district court in Honolulu also ruled against Trump. The Hawaii ruling blocked enforcement of the ban affecting the six countries, as well as a 120-day pause on refugee resettlement.

The Trump administration has not appealed the Hawaii decision. If it appeals, the case would go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The court is the same one where three judges last month unanimously rejected the Trump administration’s request to reverse a Seattle federal judge’s order halting the first travel ban. A different set of judges would likely hear any new appeal.

Trump has said he wants to take the case over the travel ban – which was retooled in an attempt to pass court muster – to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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