The Trump administration filed a notice Thursday to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s nationwide stay against the revised executive order on immigration.

The appeal follows Watson’s decision Wednesday to turn his temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction, which indefinitely blocks key parts of the travel ban.

With the case now before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the Trump administration will be fighting to reinstate the revised order in two appellate courts on opposite ends of the country.

The Trump administration is going back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected a bid to reinstate President Donald Trump’s original travel ban that sparked nationwide protests, including here in Honolulu.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Two weeks ago, the Trump administration appealed U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang’s ruling against the travel ban to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

Both Watson and Chuang ruled against the revised order on the basis that it ran afoul of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, citing Trump’s campaign promises of a “Muslim ban” as proof of the travel ban’s “religious animus.”

Chuang’s ruling is narrower in scope, blocking only one provision in the travel ban that temporarily halts the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries.

Watson’s ruling covers another provision in the revised order that suspends refugee resettlements.

On Thursday, the Justice Department told CNN in a statement that it “strongly disagrees” with Watson’s ruling: “The president’s executive order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our nation’s security, and the department will continue to defend this executive order in the courts.”

But the Trump administration will have to try its luck again in the 9th Circuit, whose three-judge panel voted unanimously in February to uphold an injunction issued by a federal judge in Seattle against the original travel ban.

It’s unclear whether the same panel will hear the Trump administration’s appeal this time. Under the 9th Circuit’s rules, it could — so long as the appeal “relates to a previously resolved and no longer pending appeal.”

At least one of the parties would have to request the same panel, and its judges would have to agree to take up the case.

Joshua Wisch, special assistant to Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin, declined to comment on the appeal Thursday.

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