A US federal appeals court on Thursday unanimously upheld a temporary suspension of President Donald Trump's order that restricted travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling came in a challenge to Trump's order filed by the states of Washington and Minnesota. The US Supreme Court will likely determine the case's final outcome.
The ruling from the federal appeals court in San Francisco on the contentious ban, which was issued on 27 January with no prior warning and suspended a week later, comes just three weeks into Trump's presidency.
The White House said it had no immediate comment.
The ruling from the 9th Circuit, which follows a hearing on the case on Tuesday, does not resolve the lawsuit, but relates instead to whether Trump's order should be suspended while litigation proceeds.
Two members of the three-judge panel that ruled were appointed by former Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, and one was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
Trump's executive order barred entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and imposed a 120-day halt on all refugees, except refugees from Syria who are barred indefinitely.
Trump and other top administration officials have argued it is needed to keep out Islamic State (IS) group and Al-Qaeda fighters migrating from Middle East hotspots, insisting time is needed to implement stricter vetting procedures.
The order sparked travel chaos and was met with condemnation by immigration advocacy groups.
In a hearing on Tuesday, the judges appeared sceptical of the White House's defense of the sweeping order, which critics say was aimed at Muslims in violation of US law.
Echoing Trump, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly - who is in charge of enforcing the immigration ban - has said the courts do not understand the threat the country faces.
"In their world it is very academic, almost in a vacuum. In their courtrooms, they are protected by people like me," Kelly told lawmakers.
Trump's tough talk belies a political and legislative agenda that has been beset by missteps and legal challenges.
The blowback from Trump's outbursts over the travel ban suspension showed no signs of abating, after his own Supreme Court nominee described the president's comments as "disheartening" and "demoralizing."
Opposition Democrats echoed those criticisms, but also suggested the nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was trying to smooth his nomination by appearing as an independent voice.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.