A federal appeals court refused Thursday to reinstate President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban.
The panel of three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban. That means previously barred travelers will now be allowed to enter the United States.
President Trump made it very clear the fight is not over yet.
Soon after the decision was announced he tweeted "See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake!"
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has responded to the president's tweet saying, "Mr. President, we just saw you in court, and we beat you."
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed an amicus brief backing Trump's order and believes the 9th Circuit made the wrong decision based on the law.
"This decision is disappointing and clearly puts our nation in grave danger," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "The fact is that President Trump clearly has the constitutional and statutory authority to issue this order. It is clear: radical Islamic terrorists are at war with America. President Trump's order is a proper and constitutional way to protect America."
The American Civil Liberties Union is hailing the decision, "The government's erratic and chaotic attempts to enforce this unconstitutional ban have taken a tremendous toll on innocent individuals, our country's values, and our standing in the world," Omar Jadwat, director of the organization's Immigrants' Rights Project, said.
He also said the group would keep fighting the executive order until it's permanently dismantled.
Refugee advocates are also excited, "We are grateful that we can get back to work resettling refugees who have fled the terrors of war and violence, while also caring for those who remain trapped in conflict zones," said David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee that helps refugees resettle.
The court's controversial ruling came after U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order halting the ban last week after Washington state and Minnesota sued. The ban temporarily suspended the nation's refugee program and immigration from countries that have raised terrorism concerns.
Justice Department lawyers appealed to the 9th Circuit, arguing that President Trump has the constitutional power to suspend entry to the United States and that the ban was needed to fight terrorism.
The states said Trump's travel ban was really a discriminatory Muslim ban based on religion.
Both sides faced tough questioning during by the judges who hammered away at their arguments.Some of the judges questioned if it was really a Muslim ban as the states claimed.
"I have trouble understanding why we're supposed to infer religious animus when, in fact, the vast majority of Muslims would not be affected," Judge Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush nominee, asked an attorney representing Washington state and Minnesota.
Only 15 percent of the world's Muslims are affected by the executive order, the judge added.
However, the judges also questioned if the seven countries chosen truly had connections to terrorism.
"Has the government pointed to any evidence connecting these countries to terrorism?" Judge Michelle T. Friedland, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, asked the Justice Department attorney.
The lower-court judge temporarily halted the ban after determining that the states were likely to win the case and had shown that the ban would restrict travel by their residents, damage their public universities and reduce their tax base. Robart put the executive order on hold while the lawsuit works its way through the courts.