SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Ninth Circuit on Friday opted not to hear the federal government’s appeal of Hawaii’s fight against President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, leaving the case in the hands of a three-judge panel.
According to a 2-page order by Chief Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas, a circuit judge requested a vote to have the case heard by en banc by an 11-judge panel. Another judge made a similar request to have the case heard by all 29 judges of Ninth Circuit – a procedure that is theoretically possible but very rarely requested.
“The matter failed to receive a majority of the votes of the nonrecused active judges in favor of initial en banc consideration,” he wrote.
An en banc rehearing will still be available after the panel issues its opinion.
The three-judge panel will hear oral argument in the case on May 15 in Seattle.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Derek Watson of the District of Hawaii temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s revised executive order to restrict entry into the United States from six Muslim-majority nations. Watson found the University of Hawaii has shown the executive order will harm its ability to recruit students and staff from those countries.