Instead of appealing to the US Supreme Court, the president issued a revised version of the ban to make it more defendable in courts.
For the second time in President Donald Trump's young administration, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals pressed the Justice Department to explain the legality of his travel ban, this time with Trump's record of campaign calls to ban Muslims from entering the US taking center stage.
The Justice Department maintains that the travel ban was animated by bona fide national security concerns, but US District Court Judge Derrick Watson disagreed in March, concluding that the executive order was likely motivated by a discriminatory goal. "And we shouldn't start down the road of psychoanalyzing what people meant in the campaign trail". "Over time the president clarified that what he was talking about were Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that shelter or sponsor them", said Wall, adding that "what he wanted to do was increase the vetting procedures".
Trump first issued a travel ban preventing people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The Ninth Circuit Court, Katyal said, had already decided that in its ruling against the original Trump order.
Monday's hearing followed similar arguments in a Richmond, Virginia, court last week, when a panel of 13 judges in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments regarding a Maryland judge's suspension of the 90-day moratorium on travel from six majority-Muslim countries.
But Wall argued that the judges shouldn't be conducting a "wide ranging inquiry into subjective motivation" of Trump, pointing out that a U.S.
Jeffrey Wall told the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle that Trump's travel ban should be judged based on its text and that Trump's statements during the election were "not statements in an official capacity".
The hearing was held in Seattle' s William K. Nakamura Courthouse, named for a U.S. Medal of Honor victor born in Seattle to Japanese immigrant parents who were interned.
This isn't the first time the 9th Circuit has been tasked with deciding the immediate fate of the president's travel ban.
Judge Ronald Gould noted, "The executive order sets out national security justifications". The ruling is now widely considered regrettable. "What does he have to do to issue an executive order that, in your view, might pass constitutional muster?" "You open the door to so much".
"In the context of this case, the executive order is an extremely broad order", Paez said.
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"I know they disagree with this president and many of his policy judgments", Wall said, pointing to the lawyers for Hawaii.
Additionally, the second order removed Iraq from a list of nations barred from sending any immigrants to the United States.
On the other hand, Neal Katyal argued on behalf of the plaintiffs that Trump's previous comments do illustrate a "repeated pattern" that any unbiased observer would find obvious.
Paez did, however, deem the campaign trail comments "profound".
"This order is aimed at aliens overseas, who themselves don't have constitutional rights", Wall said in a hearing broadcast live on C-Span and other news stations. "If you rule for him, you defer to the president in a way that history teaches is very risky".
Trump has not been shy about criticizing judges who rule against him, but he seems to have particular ire for the 9th Circuit.
Lawyers for the Trump administration have argued the court must uphold a presidential order involving national security if it is neutrally worded and there is no clear sign of discriminatory intent.
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.
"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. "Again, he must be checked".
White House press secretary Sean Spicer expressed confidence that the appeals court will uphold Trump's ban. But experts say such a scenario undoubtedly puts the case on track for review by the US Supreme Court.