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Travel ban judges scrutinize Trump's Muslim statements

Travel ban judges scrutinize Trump's Muslim statements

He also argued that the ban was not based on religion and that those challenging it - the state of Hawaii and an imam - have no standing in the case. "There was no reference to the Japanese in that executive order and look what happened", Paez said. "Starting in December 2015, when [Trump] called for a, quote, total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States", Katyal said.

On Monday, the Trump administration went back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the revised executive order on immigration. Judge Ronald Gould asked Wall.

Monday's arguments before a three-judge appeals panel in Seattle played out much like a hearing last week in Richmond, Virginia.

The three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had tough questions for each side.

Wall said that Trump had clarified over time that "what he was talking about was Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that sponsor or shelter them".

The Justice Department maintains that the travel ban was animated by bona fide national security concerns, but US District Court Judge Derrick Watson disagreed in March, concluding that the executive order was likely motivated by a discriminatory goal. A lot of them had to do with what the president has said on this issue and whether or not the judges should consider that in context. They pointed out that he argued the president has broad authority when it comes to immigration. In a challenge brought by Hawaii, Watson blocked the federal government from enforcing its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries and its suspension of the nation's refugee program.

An attorney for the state of Hawaii says President Donald Trump has never repudiated his campaigns statements calling for a ban on Muslims from entering the U.S.

"Does that mean the President is forever barred from issuing an executive order along these lines?"

"If you rule for us, you leave intact the president's powers, including every decision every president has made in our lifetimes, and you preserve a status quo that has existed for decades", Katyal said.

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In February, a federal judge in Seattle halted the original travel ban nationwide, and a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit declined to reinstate it - unanimously unpersuaded by the Trump administration's national security arguments and doubting travelers had been given adequate "due process", such as "notice and a hearing prior to restricting an individual's ability to travel".

Wall responded that Trump's order is nothing like that, and if it were, he wouldn't be defending it before the court.

For the second time in a week, government lawyers will try to persuade a federal appeals court to reinstate President Donald Trump's revised travel ban - and once again, they can expect plenty of questions Monday about whether the ban was created to discriminate against Muslims. Watson found that the travel ban likely violated the constitution's Establishment Clause by discriminating against Muslims.

Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, arguing on behalf of the Trump administration, said that the order from the 1940s, which is now viewed as a low point in U.S. civil rights history, would not be constitutional.

Judge Richard Paez asked Wall how Trump's order can be squared with a federal law banning discrimination based on nationality in immigration. Gould listens to oral arguments electronically from his Seattle court because of multiple sclerosis.

The hearings are being broadcast live on C-SPAN and other cable news stations. Because Congress has already adopted a scheme regarding when people may be excluded from the country for terror-related activities, the president can not override that with his travel ban, they argue.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall told the appellate court judges the president's directive falls squarely within his duty to secure the nation's borders and that it does not discriminate against Muslims in its language or in its operation.

Now, three judges from the USA 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are considering Trump's challenge of that injunction. This second revised ban was suspended by judges before it could take effect in mid-March. Chuang only blocked the six-nation travel ban, saying it wasn't clear that the suspension of the refugee program was similarly motivated by religious bias.

A courtroom at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle is starting to fill up in advance of arguments over President Donald Trump's travel ban while protests were expected outside the building. Today's case was heard by three judges who were all appointed by President Bill Clinton, so they could move relatively quickly.

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