The Department of Justice's appeal Thursday to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals argues that the president was well within his authority to issue the executive order earlier this month that restricted travel from six majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Trump's order would also suspend the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, limit the number of refugees the United States takes in to 50,000 per year, down from 110,000 a year set by former President Barack Obama's administration.
The Trump administration appeal comes a day after U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii, ugraded his ruling on Trump's executive order from a temporary order to a preliminary injunction. The decision is meant to prohibit the order from going into effect while the case is being litigated.
The state of Hawaii sued to block Trump's order from being implemented, arguing it discriminated against Muslims and hurt the state's economy, which is heavily dependent on international tourism.
The Trump administration is appealing the Hawaii court order in the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, while it is also appealing a Maryland district judge's order against the travel ban in the Richmond, Va.,-based Fourth District Court of Appeals. The issue over Trump's executive orders will likely end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.