Another appeals court to weigh Trump's revised travel ban

Burnt wreckage is seen at the site where a Learjet 35 crashed in Carlstadt New Jersey U.S

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments Monday in Seattle over Hawaii's lawsuit challenging the travel ban, which would suspend the nation's refugee program and temporarily bar new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

For the second time in a week, government lawyers will try to persuade a federal appeals court to reinstate President Donald Trump's revised travel ban - and once again, they can expect plenty of questions Monday about whether the ban was created to discriminate against Muslims. They peppered Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall with questions about whether they could consider Trump's campaign statements calling for a ban on Muslims entering the USA, with one judge asking if there was anything other than "willful blindness" that would prevent them from doing so.

On Monday, acting solicitor general Jeffrey Wall told the judges that they need only determine whether there was a "rational basis" for the president's travel ban, and if they thought there was some bad intent, they should focus on official, unequivocal statements as evidence.

We are likely to know soon whether the judges who heard his appeal agree with him.

There's not estimated timeline on when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could issue a decision in the case.

They asked an administration lawyer about what one judge called Trump's "profound" campaign statements calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Wall tried at the appeals court to repeal the nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) imposed by US District Judge Derrick Watson. "This order is aimed at aliens overseas, who themselves don't have constitutional rights", Wall said.

A USA government attorney insisted Monday that President Donald Trump's revised travel ban did not unfairly target Muslims, in the latest twist in a monthslong legal battle that has dogged the new U.S. administration. Miles Treakle, left, of Seattle, holds a sign that reads "Refugees Welcome Ban Trump", as he protests against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, Monday, May 15, 2017, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle.

The figure was slightly higher in April, at 3,200, but it was still much lower than the months preceding Trump's order.

US, EU to meet next week in Washington to discuss aviation threats
Department of Homeland Security said the broader ban is "under consideration", though no final decisions have been made. A four-hour meeting was held in Brussels to discuss threats to aviation security.

The 9th Circuit panel was hearing arguments over Hawaii's lawsuit challenging the travel ban, which would suspend the nation's refugee program and temporarily bar new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. But the judge wondered whether Trump is forever forbidden from adopting an executive order along the lines of his travel ban.

Katyal said no, and suggested the president could work with Congress on legitimate measures. Because Congress has already adopted a scheme regarding when people may be excluded from the country for terror-related activities, the president can not override that with his travel ban, they argue.

Trump then wrote that the circuit had a "terrible record of being overturned" - a claim that is highly debatable - and he said later that he had "absolutely" considered breaking up the court.

Katyal allowed, though, that the president would not be forever barred from issuing a similar executive order, if he were to repudiate his previous comments or take other actions to prove that his intent was not to discriminate.

Arguments are underway in Seattle over whether to reinstate the travel ban.

Wall argued that the president had said "several things approaching" a repudiation of his campaign trail comments, in that he had "clarified that what he was talking about were Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that shelter or sponsor them".

"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.

Monday's hearing came a week after a federal court in Maryland heard arguments on whether to uphold a separate judge's decision blocking the ban.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the arguments in its Seattle, Washington, courthouse for an hour starting at 9:30 a.m. "These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the executive order, and, in many cases, made by the executive himself, betray the executive order's stated secular objective".

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