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FINAL OUTCOME ‘NOT CERTAINCurbing entry to the United States as a national security measure was a central premise of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, originally proposed as a temporary ban on all Muslims. U.S. presidents have in the past claimed sweeping powers to fight terrorism, but the 9th Circuit on Thursday wrote that courts have the authority to review whether the president violated the Constitution. Two of the three 9th Circuit judges were appointees of former Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, and one was appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush. The government has 14 days to ask the 9th Circuit to have a larger panel of judges review the decision “en banc,” or appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will likely determine the case’s final outcome. But it would need five of the eight justices to vote in favor of suspending the travel ban during litigation. That is likely to be a tall order as the court is evenly divided 4-4 between liberals and conservatives, meaning the administration would need to win over at least one of the liberal justices. Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News: “It’s an interim ruling and we’re fully confident that now that we will get our day in court and have an opportunity to argue this on the merits we will prevail.” Asked if the administration would go to the Supreme Court, she said: “I can’t comment on that. … He will be conferring with the lawyers and make that decision.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said Trump’s policies “still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.” Democrats, the minority party in Congress, celebrated. “This Administration’s recklessness has already done significant harm to families, and undermined our fight against terror,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in an emailed statement. But Tom Fitton from the conservative group Judicial Watch said on Twitter: “The Ninth Circuit ruling is a dangerous example of judicial overreach.” (Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco and Noeleen Walder and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Writing by Lisa Lambert and Howard Goller; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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