Appeals Court Skeptical of Trump Admin's Defense of Travel-Restrictions Order

On Monday, the 4 Circuit Court of Appeals held oral arguments on the president's executive order banning people from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States for 90 days.

The suit in front of the 4th Circuit on Monday was brought by several refugee rights organizations, along with individual plaintiffs who claim the executive order, if allowed to go into effect, would separate them from loved ones overseas.

After the first executive order was blocked in court and the president signed the second one, "Sean Spicer said all the principles remain the same", said Judge Henry Floyd, referring to the White House spokesman.

The Trump administration is appealing a decision to block imposition of entry ban to people from 6 Muslim-majority countries.

He even said the same executive order would be valid if it had been imposed by a different president who never made any anti-Muslim statements.

Shedd asked whether Jadwat's position would differ if Trump had repudiated his campaign remarks about Muslims. A coalition of groups in opposition call the order blatant religious discrimination, since the six countries involved have mostly Muslim populations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Trump's Justice Department contends the motivation for the travel ban was to protect the United States from terrorism. The two appeals are set for hearing on Monday whereby Trump's lawyers will be explaining the need for the implementation of the ban.

Trump said last month that he is considering breaking up the 9th Circuit, a federal appeals court that covers Western states and which has always been a target of Republicans.

Larsen, a former U-M attorney and adviser to the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush, was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2015. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear an appeal of that ruling later in the month. Federal courts blocked the order, and the administration withdrew it and released a second, modified travel ban.

No court ruling is expected Monday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez have been assigned to the three judge panel, according to the court's web site. Two of the five right-leaning judges recused themselves from the proceedings; Judge J Harvie Wilkinson III recused because acting Solicitor General Wall is his son-in-law.

Ten of the 13 judges hearing the case en banc were nominated by Democratic presidents. Both judges were appointed to the court by Republican presidents.

Wall pointed out that the ban did not affect Muslims from countries other than the six mentioned in the order, and said the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that in matters of immigration and national security, the president's judgment is not open to judicial second-guessing. They argue the order violated federal immigration law and a section of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment barring the government from favouring or disfavouring a particular religion.

Donald Trump's statements about banning Muslims during the presidential campaign are now at the heart of the court battle over his travel ban.

"He [President Trump] made it clear he was not talking about Muslims all over the world, that's why it's not a Muslim ban", Jeffrey Wall, the acting solicitor general, told a dozen federal judges on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

  • Leroy Wright