Trump administration attorneys head back to a federal appeals court Monday seeking to reverse a judge’s March order that blocked the president’s second travel ban just hours before it was to go into effect — a ruling the president called an “unprecedented judicial overreach” that made America “look weak.”
The revised travel ban that Trump signed on March 6 would block the entry of foreign nationals from six majority Muslim countries for 90 days, with exceptions for permanent U.S. residents and current visa holders. It would also suspend for 120 days the admission of refugees into the U.S.
“We are going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court,” President Trump said at a campaign rally in Nashville, shortly after the decision was issued by a federal judge in Hawaii. “We are going to win. We are going to keep our citizens safe, believe me,” Trump said.
The arguments to be heard Monday in Seattle — before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit –- follow U.S. District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson’s March 16 decision that thwarted implementation of the overhauled version of Trump’s controversial policy, which the administration contends is a vital component of a strategy to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country.
In its challenge to the revised travel ban, the state of Hawaii cites then-candidate Trump’s campaign promise for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and other statements from Trump and his surrogates to argue that the new order, despite its modifications, suffers from the same alleged discriminatory defects as the first, which was scrapped and replaced by the administration after it ran into resistance in several federal courts.
“The President and his advisers did little to disguise the Order’s true nature,” attorneys for the state argue in court filings. “[T]he 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. The Constitution is not so easily cast aside.”
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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SOURCE: ABC News, James Hill and Lauren Pearle