A federal appeals court panel on Thursday refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry to the U.S. of nationals from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
The ruling means that Trump’s so-called "travel ban" remains on hold.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes after a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order last Friday that effectively blocked it from being implemented.
The Justice Department asked for a stay pending an appeal, arguing that Trump had the authority to issue the order and that the Seattle judge’s restraining order was overly broad. It also cited harm to the public.
Attorneys representing Washington state said public universities and the economy were harmed by the order, and challenged it on constitutional grounds.
Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order suspended for 90 days entry to the United States by people from Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
Implementation of the order caused chaos at airports, with green card holders, students and professors among those reporting they were detained or turned away.
Trump has said the order is necessary to protect Americans from terrorism. The order follows campaign pledges to put in place "extreme vetting." Critics have called it a "Muslim ban," which Trump has denied.
After U.S. District Judge James Robart issued the restraining order blocking Trump’s travel restrictions, visa holders and refugees rushed to take advantage of the pause.
About 60,000 visas that had been canceled were deemed valid after Robart issued his restraining order.
Trump’s executive order also temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, and indefinitely suspended entry to the United States by Syrian refugees.
Twitter, Uber, Google and Apple were among nearly 100 companies that filed a friend-of-the court brief arguing against Trump’s executive order. They said it hinders the ability of American companies to attract top talent, and "and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies."