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WASHINGTON — More than a week after President Trump's second travel and refugee ban was stopped by a pair of federal courts, the Justice Department on Friday afternoon filed arguments in support of the executive order in both cases.

"The Order is a valid exercise of the President’s broad statutory authority to 'suspend' 'the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens' and to prescribe 'reasonable rules, regulations, and orders,' as well as 'limitations and exceptions,' regarding entry," Justice Department lawyers argued to a federal appeals court.

The Justice Department currently faces two court orders halting enforcement of the executive order.

In a case brought by the state of Hawaii, a federal judge halted enforcement of sections 2 and 6 of the order — the provisions setting up a 90-day travel ban from six majority-Muslim countries and a 120-day shutdown of the refugee program, respectively. The other order, in a case brought by individuals and refugee organizations in Maryland, stops the Trump administration from being able to enforce the 90-day travel ban specifically.

In the Hawaii case, which is still before the district court, the Justice Department on Friday opposed the state's request that the court convert its temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction.

In the other case, the Justice Department appealed the injunction of the travel ban provision to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

On Friday, Justice Department lawyers asked the appeals court to stay the district court's injunction pending its appeal. In addition, the department filed its merits brief, the substantive argument defending the 90-day travel ban provision.

The filings came later in a day in which Trump received his first court victory in a challenge to the new executive. A federal court in Virginia denied a request for an injunction in a lawsuit backed by the Council on American–Islamic Relations.

This is a developing story. Please check back at BuzzFeed News for the latest.


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