WATCH| Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Solicitor General Noah Purcell react to the decision.
President Donald Trump exuded a defiant tone after the Ninth Circuit of the US Appeals Court ruled in favor of the decision reached by a US federal judge in Seattle, which brought a temporary halt to President Trump's executive order on immigration.
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
Trump reacted nearly 20 minutes after the ruling.
The 28-page verdict is a complete repudiation of the executive order that indefinitely suspended the Syrian refugee program as well as barred foreign nations from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a senior legal analyst told CNN.
An appeal to the US Supreme Court is possible and would likely place the decision in the hands of a divided court that has a vacancy, the Associated Press reported. Trump's SCOTUS nominee could not be confirmed in time to participate in any ruling of the ban.
As noted in the executive order, the ban affecting seven predominantly Muslim countries was set to expire in 90 days, meaning it's possible that it would no longer be in effect by the time the Supreme court would take up the case.
The Supreme Court could also decide not to take on the case.
The Associated Press, however, added that the administration could alter the order, "including its scope or duration." That would mean that the White House could eliminate its rhetoric on religious affiliations, which appear to single out Muslims for the ban.
Another option is to allow the appeals court ruling to stand and return to the court that initially filed a lawsuit against Trump's executive orders. Judge Robart has given both sides until Feb. 17 to file their motions.
The appeals panel said the government presented no evidence to explain the urgent need for the executive order to be reinstated immediately.
"On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies," the opinion read. "And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination."
Both sides faced tough questioning during an hour of arguments on Tuesday. The judges questioned the administration's claim that the ban was motivated by national security concerns, but also challenged the state's argument that it targeted Muslims.
"I have trouble understanding why we're supposed to infer religious animus when, in fact, the vast majority of Muslims would not be affected," Judge Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush nominee, asked an attorney representing Washington state and Minnesota.
Another judge cited his own calculations that only 15 percent of the world's Muslims are affected by the order.
"Has the government pointed to any evidence connecting these countries to terrorism?" Judge Michelle T. Friedland, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, asked the Justice Department attorney.
Thank you, 9th Circuit Court, for living up to the promise of America. The battle may continue, but this decision is a win for our nation👏🏾— Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (@RepMarciaFudge) February 9, 2017
Following the ruling, lawmakers shared their reactions.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee also questioned the Seattle judge's credentials.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who initially brought the executive order to court, called the decision a "complete victory for the state of Washington."
He added, "We are a nation of laws, and as I have said, as we have said, from day one, those laws apply to everyone in our country and that includes the president of the United States."
Read the full opinion here.
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