US court refuses to reinstate President Donald Trump's travel ban

David Pearce, left, and his daughter Crissy Pearce hold signs outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. President Donald Trump's travel ban faced its biggest legal test yet Tuesday as a panel of federal judges prepared to hear arguments from the administration and its opponents about two fundamentally divergent views of the executive branch and the court system. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

David Pearce, left, and his daughter Crissy Pearce hold signs outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. President Donald Trump's travel ban faced its biggest legal test yet Tuesday as a panel of federal judges prepared to hear arguments from the administration and its opponents about two fundamentally divergent views of the executive branch and the court system. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (2/9/17)

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court in San Francisco has refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday wouldn't block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban and allowed previously barred travelers to enter the U.S. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is possible.

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 Justice Department appealed to the 9th Circuit.

Government lawyers argued that the ban was a "lawful exercise" of the president's authority and that the seven countries have raised terrorism concerns.

The states said Trump's executive order unconstitutionally blocked entry based on religion.

Trump tweeted, "SEE YOU IN COURT" after the decision was made. He also says in the tweet that "THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.
  

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