US Court of Appeals upholds lower court ruling on Muslim visitor ban

The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has declined to grant an emergency stay in the proceedings over President Trump’s Executive Order banning visitors to the US from seven mainly Muslim countries.

In State of Washington v Trump No. 17-35105 the Court concluded as follows:

“To rule on the Government’s motion, we must consider several factors, including whether the Government has shown that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal, the degree of hardship caused by a stay or its denial, and the public interest in granting or denying a stay. We assess those factors in light of the limited evidence put forward by both parties at this very preliminary stage and are mindful that our analysis of the hardships and public interest in this case involves particularly sensitive and weighty concerns on both sides. Nevertheless, we hold that the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay” [3: emphasis added].

“The Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States. Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all. We disagree, as explained above” [26].

According to the BBC, the President responded to the ruling by tweeting, in block capital letters: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” and the Justice Department said in a statement that it was “reviewing the decision and considering its options”.

The 9th Circuit’s dedicated web-page on the proceedings is here.

Cite this article as: Frank Cranmer, "US Court of Appeals upholds lower court ruling on Muslim visitor ban" in Law & Religion UK, 10 February 2017,

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