US Court grills Trump over Muslim travel ban

US Court grills Trump over Muslim travel ban

WASHINGTON: A 13-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 4th circuit repeatedly questioned the government's lawyers about President's Trump election statements on ban on entry of Muslims into the United States during a hearing on the revised travel ban.

A judge on the panel noted that President Trump has never walked back on his statement he made in December, 2015 about total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.

President Trump maintained his stance on his policy throughout the campaign and his original statement remained on his campaign's website until Monday, a news report claimed.

Those statements by the President are now at the heart of the court battle over his travel ban which has been stayed by courts in several states.

The executive order by the president now being heard by the court is about banning people from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States 90 days.

After blocked by federal courts, the Trump administration withdrew the first executive order and issued the second one, which took off Iraq from the list of the countries and included exceptions for permanent legal residents and current visa-holders.

But, the second order also faced legal battles as a federal judge in Maryland state blocked part of it and another federal judge in Hawaii placed a nationwide injunction on the whole order.

The Monday's hearing by the 13- judge panel repeatedly asked the government's lawyers about the President's statements on 'Muslim ban', who stressed that the Maryland judge relied too heavily on President Trump’s campaign statements.

Those who are opposing the executive order argue that Trump's election statements are key understanding the purpose of the order.

Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general whom Trump fired in January when she refused to have Justice Department lawyers defend the first travel ban in court, explained to court why she considered the ban as unconstitutional.

"I believed that any argument that we would have to make in its defense would not be grounded in the truth…because to make an argument in its defense we would have to argue that the executive order had nothing to do with religion, that it was not done with an intent to discriminate against Muslims."

The judges also noted that the “Muslim ban” promise was still present on the Trump Campaign websites, which was only taken down Monday afternoon, when the issue was brought up during a daily press briefing at the White House. (APP)