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Trump administration appealing Seattle judge’s order blocking travel ban

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Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a press conference outside U.S. District Court, Western Washington, on February 3, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Ferguson filed a state lawsuit challenging key sections of President Trump's immigration Executive Order as illegal and unconstitutional. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The Trump administration moved to appeal federal Judge James Robart’s ruling Saturday afternoon, which stopped enforcement of the executive order banning travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspending refugee entry to the US.

A notice to appeal was sent to the US district court, where Judge Robart presides in Seattle. It’s the initial step in seeking an emergency stay, blocking the judge’s restraining order.

The notice is only one page and contains no arguments. It was filed on behalf of President Donald Trump, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The Justice Department is expected to file its brief laying out its legal argument later Saturday night to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear the case.

When asked at a gala in Florida about whether he was confident his administration would prevail in the appeal, Trump replied, “We’ll win. For the safety of the country, we’ll win.”

The three judges who will likely hear the appeal,  assuming no one has to step aside over any conflicts, are: Judge William Canby, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter; Richard Clifton, who was appointed by Bush; and Michelle Friedland, a President Barack Obama appointee.

Judge Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, was launched into the spotlight Friday after ruling in Seattle to temporarily block enforcement of Trump’s executive order.

“The Constitution prevailed today,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said after Judge Robart’s ruling. “No one is above the law — not even the president.”

In response, Customs and Border Protection told major US airlines Friday night that it is reinstating visas.

The Department of Homeland Security said Saturday it has suspended all actions to implement President Donald Trump’s immigration order.

“In accordance with the judge’s ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.’ This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order,” DHS acting press secretary Gillian Christensen said in a statement.

She said DHS will resume inspections of travelers as it did prior to the signing of the executive order.

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