The same federal appeals court that prevented President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban from taking effect heard arguments Monday over whether to reinstate the revision of that ban, which has also been held up in courts.
Trump’s original travel ban, which sought to temporarily suspend the entry of those from seven Muslim majority countries and halt the U.S. refugee program, sparked protests nationwide when it was first issued in January. The executive order was blocked by a number of judges in the days that followed, including those on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The revised order, which sought to temporarily suspend the entry of those from six Muslim-majority countries, is facing lawsuits from several states. State lawmakers and human rights organizations argue it violates the Constitution by discriminating against Muslims.
On May 8, before a separate federal appeals court in Richmond, Trump’s lawyers defended the ban as well as statements about Muslims made by the president before taking office, which have been used by other courts to judge his motivations.
That court, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, has not yet issued a decision.
Trump has clashed with the Ninth Circuit before. U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued a temporary injunction against Trump’s executive order that says the government can withhold funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” if they do not comply with requests from federal immigration officials. In response, Trump tweeted a series of criticisms aimed at the court, calling it a “messy system.” He told the Washington Examiner he has considered breaking up the Ninth Circuit.
“There are many people that want to break up the Ninth Circuit. It’s outrageous,” he said.
Monday’s hearing in Seattle will examine how the revised travel ban is different from the first. It will also ask Trump’s lawyers about the executive order’s 120-day ban on refugees.
PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.