The US Department of Justice has appealed a judge's order temporarily blocking President Donald Trump's refugee and immigration ban, saying it's the "sovereign prerogative" of a president to admit or exclude aliens in order to protect national security.
The appeal filed late Saturday at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, cites a "basic principle that an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application."
The Justice Department asked that the federal judge's order be stayed pending resolution of the appeal. It says the ban is necessary "to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism."
Earlier Saturday, the government officially suspended enforcement of the ban in compliance with the judge's order, which plunged the new administration into a crisis that has challenged both Trump's authority and his ability to fulfill campaign promises.
That stand-down marked an extraordinary setback for the White House. Only a week ago, the president had acted to suspend America's refugee program and halt immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries that the government said raise terrorism concerns.
The appeal says the temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle is a broad overreach of judicial authority.