The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Seattle ruled on Friday that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority in the latest iteration of his administration’s travel ban, which mostly targets Muslim–majority countries.
The ruling follows an earlier decision by a federal judge in Hawaii who called Trump’s modified travel ban unlawful, according to The New York Times.
But this doesn’t signal the end of the travel ban, however, as the appeals court put its decision on hold pending the outcome of a similar appeal in the federal Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in in Richmond, VA, and ultimately, the Supreme Court.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s travel ban can be fully implemented while legal challenges against it move forward. And whatever the outcomes of both the 9th and 4th courts, it will be the Supreme Court that will determine its final fate.
The ban currently is in its third version since Trump took office and has been struck down repeatedly by lower courts across the country. Six out of the eight countries whose citizens it targets have Muslim–majority populations. The eight countries are Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and some groups from Venezuela.
The people the current version of the ban targets varies, and admission is on a case–by–case basis, according to The Washington Post. So, students from one country may be allowed, but its business and tourist travelers may not, the newspaper noted.
As the Times points out:
The administration said the restrictions would be in effect until those countries proved to the United States that they had adequate screening. But the appeals court said that the ban was, in effect, an indefinite one, and that Congress did not give the president the authority to stop immigration from any country indefinitely.
The ruling also states that there is no finding that “simply being from one of the countries cited in the ban makes someone a security risk,” according to The Washington Post.
“Given the shockingly rapid volley of executive actions and court decisions, this is surely just the latest in a long series of battles to come,” University of Washington law school professor Mary Fan told the Post.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, meanwhile, said officials are happy that the Supreme Court allowed the ban to be implemented while the courts move their cases forward.