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Posted May 15, 2017 04:12 pm CDT
A lawyer who is representing the state of Hawaii in a challenge to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban pointed to the president’s campaign website in arguments Monday before the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a hearing before a three-judge panel in Seattle, lawyer Neal Katyal argued that the ban was motivated by discrimination and pointed to website evidence, report the Washington Post, the Associated Press, Politico and the New York Times.
Katyal pointed to a campaign news release that asserted that Trump is “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The statement was removed just before arguments before a different federal appeals court last week.
Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall countered that “we shouldn’t start down the road of psychoanalyzing what people meant on the campaign trail,” according to the Washington Post coverage. Wall said Trump had said “several things approaching” a repudiation of his campaign statements, and the president later clarified that he was talking about Islamic terrorist groups.
Trump’s revised travel ban had placed a 90-day ban on new visas for travelers to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries and had imposed a 120-day ban on refugees.
One judge on the panel, Michael Daly Hawkins, cited arguments that Katyal had made to the U.S. Supreme Court when he was acting solicitor general and defending President Barack Obama’s broad authority in immigration cases.
Katyal said his arguments had failed. “When I was in the government, I tried to get the Supreme Court to bite on that. They didn’t,” he said.
Trump has previously criticized the 9th Circuit. “But the judges hearing Monday’s arguments asked probing questions of both sides,” the New York Times reports, “and may not be ready to endorse the sweeping reasoning of a federal judge in Hawaii who blocked major parts of the revised order.”
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