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Justice Department to appeal decision blocking temporary travel ban


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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Department of Justice issued a brief notice March 17 that it will appeal a Maryland federal judge's ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's new executive order on a temporary travel ban.

An appeal of the March 16 decision by U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland sends the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which is based in Richmond, Virginia.

A day before Chuang ruled, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu blocked the revised order, which called for stopping refugee resettlement programs for 120 days and banning citizens of six Muslim-majority countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The new order leaves out Iraq, which was in his first order.

Both judges said the temporary ban, which was to have taken effect at midnight March 16, violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which says the government can pass no law that establishes religion or prohibits the free exercise of religion.

If the Department of Justice had decided to appeal Watson's order, the case would have gone to the 9th Circuit, the court that upheld several lower court rulings that blocked Trump's first executive order.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., or CLINIC, applauded both judges for blocking implementation of the latest Trump administration travel and refugee policies.

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