DOJ requests Seattle judge postpone further action on Trump’s travel ban
In their memorandum filed on Monday, the DOJ requested that US District Court Judge James Robart halt any further legal proceedings before it is decided whether a larger set of judges should be used to reconsider the decision.
“At this time, defendants believe the appropriate course is to postpone any further proceedings in the district court,” Justice Department attorneys wrote.
Days after Trump signed the executive order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” Judge Robart granted a temporary restraining order.
The decision was unanimously upheld by a three-judge panel of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last Thursday.
The states involved in the lawsuit filed their own documents asking for the proceedings to continue. “Given the gravity of the States’ constitutional allegations, Defendants’ stated national security concerns, and the public interests at stake, the States respectfully submit that discovery should proceed without delay,” lawyers for Washington and Minnesota said in court documents.
The filings say that an unnamed 9th Circuit judge “sua sponte” requested that the case should be reheard before an “en banc” review, in which the case is heard by a panel of 11 judges randomly selected from the 9th’s judicial pool of about 30 judges.
If that vote succeeds, the en banc court would assume control over the case.
No further actions are expected from the court until after Thursday when both parties are expected to file briefings arguing for or against using an en banc court.
The DOJ said in their court briefs that decision will “likely inform what additional proceedings on a preliminary injunction motion are necessary in district court.”
On Friday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told reporters that while they are appealing the case, they have not ruled out taking it to the Supreme Court in the future.
"Every single court option is on the table, including an appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision on the TRO (temporary restraining order) to the Supreme Court, including fighting out this case on the merits," Priebus said, according to Reuters.
The Trump administration still has the option to wait until Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court is confirmed. With Gorsuch on the bench, the vote could tilt in their favor.
On Monday, Trump answered questions about his immigration policy during a joint briefing at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I’m just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large Electoral College vote,” Trump told reporters.
“I said at the beginning we are going to get the bad ones -- the really bad ones, we're getting them out. And that's exactly what we're doing. I think that in the end, everyone is going to be extremely happy. And I will tell you right now, a lot of people are very, very happy right now,” he continued.