What to know about travel ban appeals

Lauren Perry
May 16, 2017

A judge in Washington, D.C., for instance, indicated last week that she was ready to block the travel ban but delayed her decision pending rulings in the appeals courts.

Donald Trump keeps getting his day in court; today, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals is taking up the Trump administration's so-called "travel ban."

"A few months later, 'I think Islam hates us". "That's the nub of the case", Wall responded, having argued that "the order on its face has nothing to do with religion and the operation doesn't distinguish on the basis of religion".

The panel took the case under submission after hearing more than an hour of arguments.

Speaking before the 9th Circuit judges on Monday, Neal Katyal, who represented Hawaii, also said Trump had repeatedly spoken of a Muslim ban during the campaign and after.

"The government has not engaged in mass, dragnet exclusions in the past 50 years", Katyal said. "This is something new and unusual in which you're saying this whole class of people, some of whom are risky, we can ban them all".

Whether the president meant to target members of a particular religion matters because a key argument by Hawaii - and other plaintiffs suing over the travel ban across the country - is that the executive order amounts to a violation of the establishment clause of the Constitution, which prohibits favoring or disfavoring members of a specific faith.

Isra Ayesh, right, of Seattle, who is the organizing director of Americans for Refugees and Immigrants, leads a chant during a demonstration against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, Monday, May 15, 2017, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle.

"Over time the President clarified that what he was talking about were Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that shelter or sponsor them", said Jeffrey Wall, Acting Solicitor General for the U.S. Department of Justice.

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This is the second case challenging President Trump's travel ban.

"We wouldn't be standing here if it was just campaign statements alone", said Katyal.

"He could not actually point to any disavowal", Katyal said, "because the truth is, there is no such statement". The first, issued on January 27, led to chaos and protests at airports before it was blocked by courts.

The judges are being asked to overturn an order blocking Trump's directive.

Wall tried at the appeals court to repeal the nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) imposed by US District Judge Derrick Watson.

Katyal disputed Walls' answer, arguing that "when he issued both executive orders, he left on his [campaign] website that very statement about the complete and total shutdown of Muslims, a statement that happened to disappear moments before the Fourth Circuit argument last week". The 9th Circuit previously blocked Trump's first executive order.

In a parallel case, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is weighing whether to uphold an injunction issued in Maryland.

Other reports by VgToday

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