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U.S. District Judge James Robart on Friday issued a nationwide stay on the travel ban after lawsuits filed by Washington state and Minnesota. The 90-day ban bars entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and imposes a 120-day halt to all refugees.

"I don't ever want to call a court biased, so I won't call it biased and we haven't had a decision yet", Trump said.

One of Trump's first actions as president was to withdraw the USA from a 12-nation, trans-Pacific trade agreement that was negotiated by the Obama administration and strongly supported by Tokyo.

Richard Primus, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Michigan Law School, said the administration could struggle to convince courts that the ban was justified by national security concerns.

Malcolm also said Trump could offer a new version of the order which addresses some of the issues raised in the judge's findings - among them the broad and non-specific wording used by the White House.

Mr Trump's controversial executive order was hastily unveiled at the end of his first week in office.

"The impact of the executive order was immediate and widespread", the decision said. "We had longtime residents who could not travel overseas to visit their families without knowing that they would be able to come back". The White House is now scrambling to work out the next steps.

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Trump's legal team still believes it will be eventually proven correct on the merits of the current executive order, the official said.

But the court wasn't swayed by the argument that the president's order is unreviewable.

"The public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies", the judges wrote.

The state of Washington has argued religious discrimination is behind the President's executive order which bans travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations. The filing says, "The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States for more than fifty years". It's one of the most liberal circuit courts in the country and a majority of the judges (25 active) have to agree for the en banc hearing to move forward. Earlier this week the three-judge panel from the appeals court considered the case in a live-streamed telephone conference.

The appellate decision brushed aside arguments by the Justice Department that the president has the constitutional power to restrict entry to the United States and that the courts can not second-guess his determination that such a step was needed to prevent terrorism.

The US government argued in court that the people affected by the executive order have no rights under amendments to the constitution protecting people from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the government.


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