The Justice Department is also pursuing an appeal of a separate freeze on Trump’s revised travel ban in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond. That case, which stems from a federal district court in Maryland, is farther along, and the judges will likely decide next week whether to put the ruling by a lower court judge against the travel ban on hold.
The appeal notice in the 9th Circuit comes a day after U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson maintained his freeze on Trump’s travel ban by taking the technical step of converting his temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction. That injunction offers a more permanent block of Trump’s ban, although it also allows the Justice Department to ask a higher court to intervene.
An ultimate decision on the ban likely remains weeks away, and to get the ban restored fully, the Justice Department must either win in both appeals courts or persuade the Supreme Court to intervene. It is unclear exactly how soon that could happen. A hearing in the 4th Circuit is scheduled for May 8. Proceedings in the 9th Circuit have not been scheduled, and the Justice Department has yet to lay out its arguments there.