By Andrew Chung
AUSTIN – (Reuters) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court for permission to file legal papers in support of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, making Texas the first state to back Trump in closely watched litigation over the ban.
Paxton asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California to file a friend-of-the-court brief. He said the full court should reconsider whether a lower court judge was justified in halting the ban.
U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle suspended Trump’s entire order across the country on Feb. 3 after its legality was challenged by Washington state. That ruling was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco last week, raising questions about Trump’s next step.
Trump’s directive, which he said was necessary to protect the United States from attacks by Islamist militants, barred people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days. Refugees were banned for 120 days, except those from Syria, who were banned indefinitely.
In the brief Paxton said Trump’s executive order falls within the president’s executive powers and does not violate any constitutional rights.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)