It’s a new week with a new courtroom battle over President’s Trump’s revised executive order focused on refugees and nationals from six predominately Muslim countries. The controversial legal challenge will take place in a Seattle appellate courtroom Monday morning. A three-judge panel, all appointed by President Clinton, will decide whether the president’s comments on the campaign trail that suggested he would ban Muslims from entering the country provide sufficient legal grounds to rule that his executive order is unconstitutional. As of 1:00 PM EST live arguments have started and you can watch below.
In March, an Hawaiian federal judge stopped the order from proceeding, not because of the language of the directive, but rather the “religious animus” of comments President Trump and his advocates made before taking office. “The [lower] court’s reliance on such statements in the face of a religion-neutral order is fundamentally wrong,” acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote to the court defending the order.
Wall argues that the policy that Trump ordered is not a “Muslim ban,” but the president’s good faith effort to protect the rights of people while keeping the homeland safe from foreign terrorists. He also argues that the president’s executive authority to protect the country and enforce immigration laws is a matter beyond judicial review. The revised order would temporarily halt refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country. It would also freeze refugee admissions giving intelligence and security official time to review existing admission procedures.
The three Clinton appointed judges hearing the case were randomly chosen from the Ninth Circuit’s members. Several weeks ago President Trump criticized the Ninth Circuit saying that his opponents were “judge shopping” in the court that covers a large portion of the western United States. “The president seeks to enact a thinly veiled Muslim ban, shorn of procedural protections and premised on the belief that those who practice Islam are a danger to our country,” says plaintiffs’ lawyer Neal Katyal representing the state of Hawaii and an Imam who lives there. Katyal also argues that the travel ban is unconstitutional because it disfavors Muslims and harms Hawaii’s economy and the university community by stopping potential tourists and student applications. “The order is the embodiment of a policy of religious animus,” Katyal argues. “The government’s only real response is to ask the court to close its eyes to abundant evidence of discrimination.”
In the courtroom showdown, both sides will get 30 minutes to present their arguments, and this time a live camera feed will come from the courtroom. This will most likely not be the end of the battle, it is probably headed to the Supreme Court.
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Credit: Fox News