Time: 11:47 a.m. CEST
San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should decide as early as Wednesday or later in the week on the President Donald Trump’s travel ban and the decision could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Associated Press writes in the article Tramp travel ban in hands of federal appeal court.
The appeals court challenged the claims of Trump’s administration motivation for the ban. The judges directed questions to an attorney for two states that challenged Trump’s order. As the AP writes, “it was unclear which way the three judges would rule, though legal experts said the states appeared to have the edge.”
The government asked the appeals court to restore Trump’s order, saying that the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States. Several states insist that it is unconstitutional.
Three judges also questioned the argument of an attorney that executive order targets Muslims. The contentious hearing, as the AP writes, focused if the ban should stay while a challenge to the ban proceeds.
Despite, the judges open discussion for broader constitutional questions upon Trump’s order for temporary suspension of the nation’s refugee program and immigration from seven Muslim countries.
The hearing was by phone and it was broadcasted live on cable networks. More than 130,000 tuned in to the court’s YouTube to hear audio. Judge Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush nominee, represents Washington state and Minnesota challenged the evidence the ban motivation is in religion, and he said that only 15 percent of the world’s Muslims are affected.
As the AP reports, Clifton cites his own calculations. But, Clifton questioned the government’s attorney if the statements of former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani that Trump requested a ban on the entry of Muslims in the U.S.
Washington state’s solicitor general, Noah Purcell pointed out to public statements of Trump for a ban on the entry of Muslims in the U.S. August Flentje argued the case for the Justice Department who said it is “extraordinary for a court to enjoin the president’s national security decision based on some newspaper articles.”
Flentje offered the 9th Circuit a third option, saying the court could exempt from the ban people who have previously been admitted to the U.S., but keep it in place for people who have never been to the country.
A judge, appointed by President Barack Obama requested the case should move forward to establish what motivated the ban. Judge Michelle T. Friedland asked if the government has any evidence connecting the seven nations to terrorism. Both sides could request of the Supreme Court to react, but this court waits appointment of new judge after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia a year ago. Last case on immigration ended with 4-4-tie vote.
Source: Associated Press writers Brian Melley in Los Angeles and Eugene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.