Appeals court to weigh challenge to revised Trump travel ban

Appeals court to weigh challenge to revised Trump travel ban

Appeals court to weigh challenge to revised Trump travel ban

In a hearing by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which lasted more than twice as long as the scheduled one hour, the 13 judges clearly came away with the sense that the constitutional conflict before them had grown well beyond the specifics of President Trump's revised immigration restrictions.

President Donald Trump has nominated Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall told the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday that the court should not second-guess the president's national security decisions because of comments made on the campaign trail.

"I think the president talked about extreme vetting and the need to keep America safe, and he made clear this is not a Muslim ban", Spicer said. That call, which was still online earlier Monday, appeared to have been taken down by the afternoon hearing. "We have no choice", Trump said.

Judge Diana Gribbon Motz asked Wall, "So it doesn't matter what the president says?". The order will "impair relationships with the very Muslim communities that law enforcement professionals rely on to address the threat of terrorism".

The Maryland injunction against Trump's revised order applies only to the section preventing visa applications from the six-Muslim majority countries.

Judge Barbara Keenan suggested that Mr Trump's country-based order was bound to be sweeping and indiscriminate.

The judge concluded, largely drawing on Trump's past statements, that the travel ban likely violates the Constitution by disfavoring Muslims, and the Justice Department appealed that decision in March. That's after U.S. District Judge Chuang cited those statements in March to block the order, saying it showed Trump's intent with his executive order was to target Muslims.

The Supreme Court could still wind up reviewing the case.

The Republican president's travel ban also was blocked by federal judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii in a separate legal challenge. The order also sought to temporarily halt the USA refugee program.

Given the public importance of the case, the full appeals court in Richmond heard the arguments - bypassing the usual initial three-judge panel - for the first time in a quarter-century.

The now-infamous statement, issued in light of 2015's San Bernardino, Calif., terror attack, disappeared Monday during Press Secretary Sean Spicer's briefing.

Judge Henry Floyd, an appointee of President Obama, asked if there is anything other than "willful blindness" that would give the court reason not to consider the statements.

Wall argued that the order should be judged for its text specifically, rather than Trump's past statements.

While the judges argued back and forth over whether Trump's order was based on national security or religious discrimination, several asked about procedure issues.

Trumps first attempt to enact a travel ban was blocked by the courts. Nine of them are Democratic appointees.

"Are you arguing that you want more countries covered? Because that's what it sounds like", said Judge Dennis W. Shedd. Numerous judges on Monday suggested they could not ignore the president's previous statements. "I made a determination that I believed it was unlawful", Yates said. Wynn asked in reference to some of Trump's comments.

"The question in this case is what is the goal of the order, whether it's legitimate or not", Mr. Jadwat said.

Trump's campaign vow to implement a Muslim ban is at the core of both lawsuits.

On Friday, White House Counsel Don McGahn said that the president was putting his "finishing touches" on the list, adding that people "would be amazed" by what he plans to announce. Judges should have no trouble concluding such an order would be illegitimate and unconstitutional, he said.

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