Update: Federal government responds to WA, MN lawsuit; arguments coming Tuesday

The federal government's response called the executive order a "lawful exercise."
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The federal government has filed its response to the executive order lawsuit brought by Washington and Minnesota.

The brief calls the executive order blocking entry into the United States for people from seven countries a "lawful exercise of the President's authority," and also argues the states are overreaching their authority when it comes to "visas to third-party aliens."

According to Politico, the response also says the courts would be taking the "extraordinary step of second-guessing a formal national-security judgment" from the president, if they came down in support of the states.

The brief says the injunction should only apply to a subset of those affected; specifically, previously admitted people who are out of the U.S. right now, or want to travel and still return to the country.

In addition, the court ordered oral arguments (via telephone) to be held Tuesday. Each side will get 30 minutes, and it'll start at 5 p.m. CST.

The circuit judges taking part are William C. Canby Jr., Richard Clifton, and Michelle T. Friedland – Clifton was appointed by former President George W. Bush, while Canby Jr. (Jimmy Carter) and Friedland (Barack Obama) were appointed by Democrats, the Associated Press notes. The judges on each case are decided at random.

The United States Courts for the 9th Circuit have a page dedicated to tracking all the documents filed in this case. You can see that page here.

The original story from Monday morning is below.

The states of Minnesota and Washington have issued a response to the federal government's attempt to reinstate its controversial travel ban, saying it would "unleash chaos again" if successful.

Seattle-based U.S. District Judge James Robart on Friday granted a restraining order requested by the two states, which temporarily halts the executive order issued by the Trump administration a week earlier after they argued it was unconstitutional.

This order, aimed at mitigating terroristic threats, indefinitely suspends the entry of Syrian refugees, places a 120-day moratorium on all refugee entries, and bans travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

A federal government attempt to reinstate the travel restrictions was unsuccessful on Sunday, when the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the restraining order for now, and asked for written arguments to be presented by the two states and the government.

The arguments from Minnesota and Washington were submitted Monday morning, which argue the Trump administration is asking the appeals court "to unleash chaos again by staying the district court order."

"Those who were abroad were blocked from returning home," the states argue. "Husbands were separated from wives, brothers from sisters, and parents from their children. Some who had waited decades to see family members had that reunion taken away without warning or reason."

It says that to lift the restraining order, the government has to prove things including: that not having the executive order would likely cause "irreparable injury;" that it's in "the public interest;" and that the Trump administration would suffer hardship as a result.

These, the states' response contends, are not things the government can successfully prove.

Submitted along with the response is a joint declaration from a group of national security, foreign policy and intelligence heavyweights, including former Secretary of States Madeleine Albright and John Kerry, which says the executive order "cannot be justified on national security or foreign policy grounds."

The Trump administration has until 5 p.m. Monday to submit its own response to the appeals court.

Family reunited in Minnesota

There were emotional scenes at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday, when 66-year-old Somali-born Mahamed Iye welcomed his wife and two young daughters into the country after not seeing them for more than two years, MPR News reports.

Their travel plans had been thrown into turmoil when they were informed in Nairobi, Kenya, last week that they wouldn't be able to travel to Minnesota via Amsterdam, only for the flights to be approved after the restraining order was put in place on Friday.

Minnesota is home to one of the largest U.S. contingents of immigrants and refugees from Somalia, one of the seven nations listed in the ban.

The state is arguing that implementing the travel ban could see residents – including those who have lived her legally for years – at risk of being deported if they visit Somalia and then try to re-enter the U.S, something it calls a "devastating result."

Prior to the order, about 900 refugees were expected to resettle in Minnesota alone over the next 120 days through the seven organizations in Minnesota that do resettlement work.

What's the next stage for the court case?

After the federal government submits its own response to the appeals court's decision, expected Monday evening, then the three-judge panel of the court will discuss whether the restraining order should remain in place.

A decision could come as soon as Tuesday, though the LA Times reports it could take as long as a week.

Now it's worth mentioning that the panel is not deciding whether the executive order is constitutional or not, it's deciding whether the restraining order should remain in force until the constitutional issues are decided, the paper notes.

PBS reports deciding this could eventually send it all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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