13 judges to hear revised Trump travel ban case

Trump's administration says the court should focus on the text of the executive order, which doesn't mention religion. But a Virginia judge said he's not going to look to Trump's comments as a candidate and "psychoanalyze the president" for his motives in drafting the ban. The exact list will be released Monday morning ahead of the hearing, set to begin at 2:30 pm (1830 GMT).

Judge Robert B. King said the case appears to hinge on whether the court considers Trump's statements or focuses exclusively on the text of the order, which is religiously neutral.

In court Monday, Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall said the judges should not second-guess the president's national security decisions because of comments made on the campaign trail. They also claim that the "anti-Muslim animus" underlying the second executive order is readily apparent from the litany of public statements Trump made before and after the presidential campaign.

The judge's aren't expected to issue a ruling Monday.

Rabbi Michael Knopf of Bend the Arc Jewish Action said on Monday that people were there to assure the Muslim community that they oppose the ban imposed by President Donald Trump's administration and they want to invite all Americans of conscience to join them in saying they oppose any ban any time. He said the ban has caused Muslim men, women and children to live in fear.

Attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department say the court shouldn't rely on Trump's statements, but on the text of the policy, which they say is necessary to protect the country from terrorism.

It's the first time an appeals court has heard arguments on the revised travel ban, which was issued in March.

His decision blocked part of a March 6 order that restricted entry for 90 days from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

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A panel of three federal judges will review the Hawaii judgment on appeal later this month at a court in Seattle, Washington. The White House is fighting that ruling in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal judge in Hawaii has also blocked the six-country travel ban as well as the freeze on the USA refugee program.

Meanwhile, a group of 12 state attorneys general and the governor of MS argued that the action is not a "pretext for religious discrimination" and should be allowed to take effect. Wilkinson's daughter is married to the acting solicitor general. It was not immediately clear why Duncan was recused. Away from the limelight, a raging court fight has spurred a constitutional confrontation that could define powers of the presidency for years to come. Chief Judge Roger Gregory was given a recess appointment to the court by President Bill Clinton and was reappointed by President George W. Bush.

The lawsuit said the order violates federal immigration law and a section of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment that prohibits government discrimination on the basis of religion.

Trump's earliest efforts to implement his agenda were dramatically derailed by the courts, which pushed back against his proposed travel ban and his order to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

The judges could rule sooner on the administration's request to let the travel ban go into effect while it considers the merits of its appeal.

While the 4th Circuit was long considered one of the most conservative appeals courts in the country, it moved to the center under Obama, who appointed six of the 15 active judges.

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