The legality of President Trump’s revised travel ban was debated this week by a federal appeals court in Richmond, VA.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals heard a challenge May 8 to a Maryland judge’s decision to suspend a revised version of Trump’s executive order which would block travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The administration’s revised order would also suspend all refugee admissions for 120 days. The Maryland district court judge found that Trump’s comments as a presidential candidate clearly showed that he intended to enact a ban against Muslims.
This week, acting solicitor general Jeffrey Wall argued that Trump’s executive order is not a Muslim ban, and is within the president’s authority to protect Americans from potentially dangerous individuals seeking entry to the U.S. Wall said that statements Trump made in the past should not be considered in assessing the legality of the order.
Several judges on the 4th Circuit asked about a statement on Trump’s campaign website which called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The statement appeared to have been removed from the website on the same day the court hearing got underway.
A federal court in Hawaii also blocked Trump’s revised travel ban back in March, and the government will argue its appeal of that ruling in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 15.