A U.S. appeals court has upheld a lower-court decision blocking President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees and nationals from six Muslim-majority countries.
Three judges from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling on June 12 that it would not remove a preliminary injunction issued by a Hawaii-based judge in March -- which applies nationwide -- against the order on grounds that it was motivated by an anti-Muslim bias.
Trump, in a June 13 tweet, criticized the appeals court for ruling against his travel ban "at such a dangerous time in the history of our country."
The Trump administration says the temporary ban, which affects the citizens of Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, is motivated by national security concerns.
"We conclude that the president, in issuing the executive order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress," the judges wrote in their ruling.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he disagreed with the court ruling and the White House hinted it will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the administration was confident the executive order is "fully lawful" and will be upheld by the Supreme Court.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP and CNN