A three judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals left in place a district judge's order that put President Trump's immigration changes on hold, dealing a legal setback to the President.
In a per curiam order, the judges rejected an assertion by Justice Department lawyers during oral arguments earlier this week that the President's decision on immigration restrictions was not reviewable by the Judiciary.
"There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy," the judges said in their ruling, which left in place an order by Federal District Judge James Robart.
"The States’ claims raise serious allegations and present significant constitutional questions. In light of the sensitive interests involved, the pace of the current emergency proceedings, and our conclusion that the Government has not met its burden of showing likelihood of success on appeal on its arguments with respect to the due process claim, we reserve consideration of these claims until the merits of this appeal have been fully briefed," the judges concluded.
The President's reaction was swift, on Twitter.
"The Government has not shown that a stay is necessary to avoid irreparable injury," the judges wrote, saying the Trump Administration did not make a case to have the order go into effect.
"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," the ruling read.
The Justice Department has several options including appealing to the full Ninth Circuit, or taking the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.