Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Another appeals court to weigh Trump's revised travel ban

Yet Trump's continued inclusion of a 90-day ban on all foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries and the 120-day ban on all refugees in the revised travel ban led to fresh legal challenges from the state of Hawaii and an American imam that a new panel of 9th Circuit judges must now resolve. On May 8, a 13-judge panel in Richmond, Virginia, heard from lawyers for the US and a civil rights group on questions of presidential power, religious bias and the threat of terrorism.

Rather than appeal that decision to the Supreme Court, the Trump administration revoked the first order and issued a new one.

In 1952, with the nation fearful of communist infiltration, Congress gave the president the authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to take action: "Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may. suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate", the law says.

But unlike the due process concerns driving the analysis in the last round, this time the appeals court must squarely wrestle with Trump's past statements about Muslims as it decides whether the lower court in Hawaii correctly blocked the revised ban.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in the nation's capital said she's "inclined to agree" that the travel ban is unlawful, but held off on a request to block it because of the pending appeals court cases.

"The critical issue in this case is how much stock courts should put in the president's words", said Kate Shaw, an associate professor at Cardozo School of Law in NY and an ABC News contributor.

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"For instance, there is nothing "veiled" about this press release: 'Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, '" Watson added. They pointed out that he argued the president has broad authority when it comes to immigration.

When Trump was signing the first executive order he muttered 'we all know what that means'.

Opponents - including the state of Hawaii and civil rights groups - say that both the first ban and the revised ban discriminate against Muslims.

Wall, the acting Solicitor General, represented President Trump.

In Katyal's view, there's simply no precedent to support Trump's travel ban because "presidents don't run into establishment clause problems" with their public comments.

The administration contends in its appeal that the courts owe substantial deference to the executive branch in matters of immigration and national security, and that Judge Watson and other federal judges err in looking beyond the plain text of the executive order in evaluating its legality and intent.

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Gould listens to oral arguments electronically from his Seattle court because of multiple sclerosis.

"Again, in this court, the President claims a almost limitless power to make immigration policy that is all but immune from judicial review", Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin wrote to the 9th Circuit.

Dozens of activists gathered Monday morning, some carrying "No Ban, No Wall" signs.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia is considering a similar ruling.

After Trump issued his initial travel ban on a Friday in late January, bringing chaos and protests to airports around the country, a Seattle judge blocked its enforcement nationwide - a decision that was unanimously upheld by a three-judge 9th Circuit panel. They peppered Wall with questions about whether they could consider Trump's campaign statements calling for a ban on Muslims entering the US, with one judge asking if there was anything other than "willful blindness" that would prevent them from doing so.

The three-judge panel consists of Circuit Judges Ronald Gould and Richard Paez, and Senior Circuit Judge Michael Hawkins. Arguing for the state of Hawaii is Neal Katyal, a Washington, D.C. -based attorney with the firm of Hogan Lovells.

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