Department of Justice appealing Hawaii judge’s extension of Trump travel ban halt

seb_ra/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Justice on Thursday filed a notice to appeal a Hawaii federal judge's order that extended the halt on President Trump's controversial travel ban.

On March 17, the Justice Department announced that it would appeal U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson's sweeping move to freeze the president's executive order. Then on Wednesday, Watson extended the order, preventing the U.S. government from suspending new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. refugee program.

The Trump administration had asked Watson to limit his ruling to cover only the part of the president's executive order that suspends new visas for people from the six countries.

The Department of Justice alerted the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that it would appeal the judge's ruling.

The appeals court said it does not yet know which month's panel will hear the case since the arguments have not been filed yet and the month is nearly over.

If the case is heard by the March panel, two judges nominated by Democrats and one judge nominated by a Republican will preside over the appeal -- similar to the appeal heard in the first immigration ban. If the case is heard by an April panel, it is unclear who which federal judges will participate.

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