ALEXANDRIA: Attorneys defending the Trump administration's travel ban are opposing Hawaii's request to turn a temporary order blocking key sections of the ban into a preliminary injunction.
In a response Friday, the Justice Department says if an injunction is granted, it should be limited to the sub-section of the order that suspends new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued an order blocking that section and one that would halt the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program hours before the executive order was to take effect last week.
The Justice Department argues other portions of those sections allow the government to "fix potential gaps in the nation's vetting procedures."
Watson has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday on Hawaii's request for a preliminary injunction.
A federal appeals court will hear arguments in May in a challenge to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.
The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has set a hearing for May 8 to consider the Trump administration's appeal of a federal judge in Maryland's ruling that prohibited the enforcement of the travel ban nationwide.
The Maryland ruling and a separate ruling in Hawaii were victories for civil liberties groups and advocates for immigrants and refugees, who argued that Trump's temporary ban on travel from six predominantly Muslim countries violated the Constitution.
The Trump administration argued that the revised executive order was intended to protect the United States from terrorism.
A federal judge in Virginia has ruled against a Muslim civil-rights group that sought to block the Trump administration's proposed travel ban.
At a hearing earlier this week, Judge Anthony Trenga questioned whether an injunction was necessary, given the fact that judges in Hawaii and Maryland have already blocked the vast majority of the executive order from taking effect.
The judge's decision, issued Friday in federal court in Alexandria, is even more sweeping in support of the administration. The 32-page ruling concludes that President Donald Trump is likely within his rights to temporarily ban immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and suspend the U.S. refugee program.
A lawyer for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which brought the suit, said his client will appeal.