Trump backs off on court challenge to travel ban

Trump backs off on court challenge to travel ban

By Gary Gately   
Demonstrators protest Trump's travel ban in Washington. (Doug Christian file photo)
Demonstrators protest Trump's travel ban in Washington. (Doug Christian file photo)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump abandoned his legal challenge to his divisive travel ban Thursday and said he would write a new executive order next week.

“As far as the new order, the new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision,” Trump told reporters, referring to a federal appeals court’s blocking the travel ban last week.

“Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision,” Trump said. “The rollout was perfect.”

The Justice Department filed a 47-page brief to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday saying it’s no longer seeking a larger panel to a review three-judge panel’s in Trump’s failed challenge to suspension of the executive order nationwide.

“Rather than continuing this litigation, the president intends in the near future to rescind the order and replace it with a new, substantially revised executive order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns,” the attorneys said in a brief.

“In so doing, the president will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially time-consuming litigation,” the brief said.

The Trump administration has been losing court battles across the nation over the ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The president’s restrictions also bar refugees worldwide for 120 days, except Syrian refugees, banned indefinitely.

The states that brought the federal district court lawsuit in Seattle — Washington and Minnesota — said in a brief Thursday the appeals court decision is “firmly grounded in precedent” and said “there is no basis for rehearing the case.”

Trump has repeatedly called the travel ban necessary to protect the United States from terrorist attacks.

The travel ban — opponents call it a discriminatory “Muslim ban” — drew protests at major U.S. airports and in cities across the U.S. and abroad and sharp criticism from numerous world leaders and advocates for immigrants and refugees.

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