President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting travel for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries was a “lawful exercise of the President’s authority,” the Justice Department said in a Monday filing arguing the reinstatement of the action.
“The district court therefore erred in entering an injunction barring enforcement of the order,” the department argued.
A federal judge approved a nationwide temporary restraining order against the executive action Friday, saying that the restrictions were unconstitutional. The Department of Homeland Security subsequently said it would no longer force airlines to prevent blocked travelers from boarding their flights. The State Department also reversed its cancellations of visas.
Trump’s Jan. 27 order sparked nationwide protests as travelers were detained amid initial confusion about interpretation of the executive order. A number of lawsuits were filed following the chaos, including one submitted by the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups on behalf of those affected by the restrictions.
The Monday filing repeats many of the points the government made in a brief it filed over the weekend appealing the injunction. It argued that the Friday injunction reinstated “procedures that the President determined should be temporarily suspended in the interest of national security.”
Trump tweeted as much, following news of the stay.
The Justice Department said Monday the ruling in Washington state was “vastly overbroad, extending far beyond the State’s legal claims to encompass numerous applications of the Order that the State does not even attempt to argue are unlawful.”
It contended that the ruling in Washington state sought to protect lawful permanent residents and foreign nationals who have been previously admitted to the U.S. and not those attempting to enter for the first time.
“That makes sense because the latter class of aliens have no constitutional rights with respect to entry into the country—a point the State largely conceded below,” the filing said.
“At most, the injunction should be limited to the class of individuals on whom the State’s claims rest—previously admitted aliens who are temporarily abroad now or who wish to travel and return to the United States in the future,” the filing said.