Trump's travel ban goes before federal appeals court

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Trump's revised order signed March 6 would stop the issuance of new USA visas to travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for three months, suspend refugee inflows for four months and cut annual refugee admissions by half.

A federal judge in Hawaii has also halted that provision as well as the freeze on the USA refugee program.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Judge Allyson K. Duncan and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III will not hear arguments in the case Monday.

This new executive order came out March 6.

Attorneys for the Justice Department are defending Trump's executive order before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The White House is fighting that ruling in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2:30 p.m. EDT hearing will be broadcast by C-SPAN and the court will provide a link to the live feed on its website. This panel will meet May 15 to hear arguments in that case. Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez have been assigned to the three judge panel, according to the court's web site. That usually happens a few times a year.

- Jackie Vimo (@JackieVimo) May 8, 2017Key issues in #MuslimBan hearing: should we consider only text of order, or do we determine President's intent from his campaign statements?

But the justices often defer to the president and executive branch on issues involving national security.

It was unclear when the court would rule.

A statement calling for a "complete and total shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S. was apparently removed from President Donald Trump's official campaign website after a reporter asked about it at a press briefing on Monday. But President Barack Obama dramatically changed its makeup, pulling the 4th Circuit to the center. That left nine judges appointed by Democratic presidents, three Republican appointees and one judge originally appointed by a Democrat and later re-appointed by a Republican. They say the court doesn't need to delve any deeper into any statements the president or his advisers made.

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"Who makes the national security determination in this case, the risk I am addressing?" asked Judge Dennis Shedd.

The government insists the impetus for both versions of the travel ban is the same: national security. "Or is this a religious freedom case?"

Wall and his team must also show that the travel rule does not amount to a so-called "Muslim ban", which Trump had threatened to impose while running for office. One of the central questions in the case is whether Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric and the way he and administration officials have referred to the executive order can be used against him, in order to prove whether it meant to discriminate against Muslims. He said Trump later explained the aim was to protect the country against groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang agreed, ruling against the revised ban's 90-day hold on those entering the country from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Vega said the administration had insisted Trump's executive order was not a travel ban. Worse, imagine the founders' reactions were they to see a vision of the other two branches sitting idle and obsequiously complying with a lower court judge granting 7.5 billion people a potential affirmative right to immigrate based on the Bill of Rights?

The revised travel ban was challenged in Maryland by refugee organisations and individuals who said they would be harmed.

Mr Wall told the court "we have put our pens down", because of the rulings from the courts that blocked the orders.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will meet next Monday to hear arguments in that case.

The 4th Circuit judges asked Wall what had been done by the administration since Trump signed the two orders to improve vetting procedures, given that the 90 days the administration said it needed for a review after the order was first signed in January had passed.

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