A federal judge has blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order barring travel from six Muslim-majority countries, citing “national security and foreign policy concerns.”
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a nationwide temporary restraining order late Tuesday that temporarily blocks the Trump administration from enforcing the executive order and blocks enforcement of other measures by state and local governments.
The ruling is the first in a long-running legal battle over Trump’s immigration order.
It’s also the latest setback for the White House, which is expected to file a response to the court’s ruling in the coming days.
Trump’s order sparked protests across the U.S. and abroad.
In Washington, D.C., demonstrators staged a rally to oppose the ban.
The Trump administration said it would appeal the court ruling.
The court issued a temporary restraining measure that temporarily bars enforcement of the executive orders in Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The judge’s order is expected in the next few days, a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement.
The government said the court order was issued in response to a motion filed in court on Tuesday.
“This order was never intended to serve as a permanent suspension of the travel order or any other measure,” said a Justice Dept. official.
“The court has been clear that this temporary injunction will not be a stopgap measure that is meant to be quickly resolved.”
Trump has argued that his immigration order is necessary to protect national security and to combat terrorism.
The order was signed into law in February and was widely criticized by critics and civil rights groups.