Ninth Circuit To Hear Arguments On Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in Hawaii v. Trump, the case in which a Federal District Court Judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide stay against enforcement of the travel ban from six majority-Muslim countries that was issued by President Trump after his first order was barred by a Washington State Federal Judge and a different 9th Circuit panel earlier this year:

Attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department will again come before a federal appeals court to try to salvage President Donald Trump’s order banning travel from six mostly Muslim nations, after a judge said it appeared to be discriminatory.

The hearing gets underway at 9:30 a.m. in Seattle. It’s the second time a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider Trump’s travel ban.

In February, a different panel of judges from the court ruled against the president’s first executive order, saying that the government had failed to make its case that a temporary freeze on the travel ban should be lifted. The judges also called into question presidential power to limit immigration the way Trump is trying to do.


U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu concluded that the administration had tried to “sanitize” the original order, setting the stage for the government’s appeal before the Seattle panel. A separate order by a Maryland judge blocking implementation of the revised travel ban is what was reviewed by the Richmond-based appeals court last week.

At the heart of the legal arguments is the question of whether Trump’s comments as a candidate can be used as evidence that his travel order was founded on religious bias, in violation of the First Amendment.

The Justice Department argues that his remarks as a candidate aren’t relevant to his actions as president. Until last week, the Trump campaign website included language promising a ban on Muslim immigrants.

That legal issue is likely to reach the Supreme Court. In the meantime, lawyers from around the country who are challenging Trump’s order are likely to press ahead with efforts to gather evidence that could help prove that Trump’s order was founded on bias. Last week, a federal judge in Detroit ordered the administration to disclose a memo from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

While running for president, Donald Trump asked Giuliani to form a commission that would help draft a “Muslim ban” to “show [him] the right way to do it legally,” according to a court filing by the Arab American Civil Rights League. The commission then recommended that “nationality be used as a proxy for religion,” the group said in the filing.

As with the hearing back in February, this hearing will be available for listening as a livestream at this site, where it will also be available to be listened to after the hearing is over. Additionally, C-Span has been granted the right to broadcast the livestream, which it will do on its main channel, as well as C-Span radio and via its website. Additionally, it’s probably that the major cable news outlets will carry the livestream as well as they did during the arguments back in February. The panel that will hear the appeal consists of Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez, all of whom were appointed to the Court by President Bill Clinton between 1994 and 2000.

You should also be able to listen to the livestream both during oral argument and afterward via the YouTube embed I’ve added below, Argument is scheduled to start at 9:30 am local time in Seattle, which of course means 12:30 pm in the Eastern time zone, 11:30 am in the Central time zone, and 10:30 am in the Mountain time zone.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Law and the Courts, Religion, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    And in the meantime, the 90 days they said they needed to refine the protocols for the “enhanced screening program” passed roughly a month ago (I’m assuming that anything this important to the security of our nation was started immediately [insert eye roll here]). The administration could withdraw its appeal if it wanted to. I wonder why it hasn’t.

    And why haven’t we heard about the new enhanced, most rigorous ever, screening protocol? I know that Trump will never figure out “what the hell is going on,” but surely the government has got its act together by now. Right?