The government is appealing a ruling from a federal judge in Maryland that blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban from taking effect.
The government filed a brief notice Friday saying that it would appeal the Maryland ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
Following the news, the American Civil Liberties Union said it looks forward to defending the recent rulings blocking Trump's immigration order.
"President Trump's Muslim ban has fared miserably in the courts, and for good reason — it violates fundamental provisions of our Constitution. We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court," Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Projects, said in a statement.
The ruling in Maryland and another in Hawaii earlier this week were victories for civil liberties groups and advocates for immigrants and refugees. They argued that a temporary ban on travel from six predominantly Muslim countries violated the First Amendment. The Trump administration argued the ban was intended to protect the United States from terrorism.
Federal law gives the president broad authority over immigration. Jimmy Carter used it to deny some Iranians entry to the U.S. during the hostage crisis, Ronald Reagan to bar Cubans who didn't already have relatives here and President Barack Obama to keep out North Korean officials.
When federal courts blocked Trump's revised travel ban from taking effect, the judges spelled out their major concern: the unusual record of statements by the president and his advisers suggesting the executive order's real purpose was to discriminate against Muslims, in violation of the Constitution's ban on officially favoring or disfavoring any religion.