There's been some significant legal back and forth related to a controversial executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump. Last Monday, we told you about the order. It aims to tighten U.S. borders and temporarily keep certain immigrants and refugees from entering America.
On Friday, a federal appeals court judge temporarily suspended parts of the order itself. He said that the travel ban harms residents of the U.S. in areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel.
What this means? President Trump's order is on hold and many of the refugees and immigrants who would have been kept out of the U.S. under the order are being allowed in again. The Justice Department said the court decision harms the public and second guesses the president's national security judgment.
But though the government made an emergency request to put the travel ban back in place, a federal appeals court denied that request. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said it wanted to hear both sides of the arguments before it gives a final ruling. The appeals court isn't ruling on whether the order is constitutional. It only decides whether the order will stay suspended. Legal analysts say this case is likely destined for the U.S. Supreme Court.
President Trump is not the first American leader to temporarily suspend refugee admissions to the U.S. But his order is unusual in that it mentions people from specific countries.
REPORTER: The order bars entry for 90 days for seven predominantly Muslim countries, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Refugees are barred for 120 days and refugees from Syria are barred indefinitely, though those barriers can be lifted on a case by case basis.
Is that a Muslim ban?
All seven countries are majority Muslim nations, but there are many more Muslims in Indonesia alone, for example, than in all seven countries Trump has singled out. There are more than 40 other Muslim nations not covered by the ban as it now stands. The vast majority of the world's Muslims are unaffected.
Why those seven countries? The seven were first identified as countries of concern under the Obama administration, though Trump's order is much broader. And while the administration says that Trump's business interest played no role in drafting his executive order, Muslim majority countries with ties to, for example, the 9/11 attacks are not on the list.
What's clear is that five of the seven do have one crucial thing in common — chaos.
Syria is in the midst of a brutal civil war still trying to rid its territory of ISIS.
Iraq, a struggle for stability and a fight against ISIS there, too.
Libya, civil war and ISIS as well.
Yemen, civil war and al Qaeda.
Somalia, perennially at war with itself and the terrorists al-Shabaab are based there.
Sudan, still fighting in Darfur.
Iran is the outlier. Washington has long considered it a state sponsor of terrorism.
But there are countless extremists waging jihad from other Muslim nations. Tunisia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to name a few. There are radicalized citizens in the countries of the West who can still travel easily into the U.S. And as America was reminded after the Orlando nightclub attack last summer, there are U.S.-born extremists.