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U.S. Justice Dept says Trump to replace travel ban order in near future

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By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday President Donald Trump would replace his executive order suspending travel from seven Muslim-majority countries “in the near future,” according to a court filing.

The Justice Department said that given the upcoming replacement, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should not reconsider an earlier ruling that suspended Trump’s Jan. 27 order.

“In so doing, the President will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially time-consuming litigation,” the Justice Department said in its filing.

Trump has said his directive, issued last month, 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.

U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle suspended the order nationwide after Washington state challenged its legality, eliciting a barrage of angry Twitter messages from Trump against the judge and the court system.

After the 9th Circuit last week upheld Robart’s ruling, an unidentified appeals court judge requested that the court’s 25 full-time 9th Circuit judges vote on whether that should be reconsidered by an 11-judge panel, known as en banc review.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Frances Kerry and Clive McKeef)

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