Travel ban
People protest President Donald Trump's travel ban outside of the Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, May 15, 2017. Reuters

While President Trump is away on his first official foreign trip, a Virginia-based federal appeals court rejected his government's efforts to limit travel to the U.S. from six predominantly Muslim nations. The U.S. fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the president's travel ban order raised enough constitutional concerns to the extent that it should remain unenforced.

The Justice Department responded to the ruling by saying that it would appeal to the Supreme Court. “President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the Nation safe,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the decision of the divided court, which blocks the President’s efforts to strengthen this country’s national security.”

Read: How Many Legal Challenges Trump's Travel Ban Executive Order Has Faced So Far?

Thursday's ruling against Trump's revised travel ban order concluded that it "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."

The White House condemned the court's decision as it said it is a danger to the nation’s security. Sessions said in the statement that the travel ban order aims to protect millions of Americans from terrorists who compromise the nation's security.

Meanwhile, immigration and refugee aid organizations applauded Thursday's ruling. In an emailed statement shared by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) to International Business Times, it said: "LIRS Applauds Decision by 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to Uphold Maryland District Court Judge’s Decision."

Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO said in the statement: “In its first 100 days, we have seen efforts to block refugees and migrants who are fleeing violence in their homeland from entering our country...The notion that certain countries or ethnicities pose more of a danger than others is baseless at best."

She added: “As Christians, we are called to provide places of safety and protection for those fleeing danger. Today’s decision is a reminder that our American ideals of compassion, acceptance, and love should continue to prevail.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing a group of refugee aid organizations and Muslim residents whose overseas relatives are seeking visas, tweeted saying: "We won in 4th circuit Muslim ban case!"

Trump's revised ban has also been blocked with an even broader injunction by a federal court in Hawaii, which means that Trump administration has been fighting in two separate appeals court. Even if the fourth circuit had ruled in favor of the travel ban order Thursday, without the ruling of the ninth circuit on the Hawaii decision, the administration would not have been able to implement it, the Guardian reported.

Trump had issued his first travel ban executive order Jan. 27, a week into his presidency. Just less than two weeks later, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed an order halting it.

Although the president vowed to fight the ruling, he did not appeal to the Supreme Court. However, he issued a revised executive order March 6.