SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The motions panel of a U.S. federal appellate court ruled Thursday against reinstating the travel ban in a presidential executive order.

The three judges sitting on the motions panel of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco, presented their decision in a 29-page written opinion released in the afternoon.

In a unanimous move, the judges, two of them appointed by former Democratic presidents and one by former Republican president, wrote at the end of the ruling: "the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is DENIED."

The motion, put forward by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State, was to overrule a temporary restraining order (TRO) imposed by a lower court judge against the travel ban.

In a press conference held about an hour after the court panel's ruling, Bob Ferguson, Washington state attorney general, who initiated the legal challenge against the ban on behalf of the state in the U.S. Pacific Northwest 10 days ago, called it "a complete victory."

The latest development keeps the TRO effective since last Friday, allowing citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries with proper visas to enter the United States.

The motions panel heard oral arguments Tuesday pertaining to the executive order signed on Jan. 27 by President Donald Trump that bars entry into the United States by nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Last Friday, Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled in favor of the states of Washington and Minnesota and put the travel ban on hold, prompting the DOJ to appeal Saturday.

The two states filed a suit on Jan. 30 before the district court to challenge the travel ban citing harms to the states in areas including employment, education, trade, family relations and freedom of travel.

The DOJ, however, insisted that the ban was within the authority of the president, dismissing the states as well as the federal court system's role in the matter.

In its response, the motions panel of the appellate court argued: "although courts owe considerable deference to the President's policy determinations with respect to immigration and national security, it is beyond question that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action."

This seemed to be a direct rebuttal of what August E. Flentje, special counsel to the assistant U.S. attorney general, said during the hour-long oral argument by phone Tuesday afternoon, that national security is "inarguable" at the court.

Instead of initiating a full review of the case, the motions panel is in charge of specifically deciding whether to lift the TRO put in place by Judge Robart.

Noah Purcell, Washington state solicitor general, who argued before Judge Robart and then the three appellate court judges, said he "cannot be more pleased" by the ruling.