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US Court of Appeals to hear challenge to Trump’s ban

IANS | Washington |

Three federal judges in San Francisco will on Tuesday hear oral arguments in the challenge to US President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

The hour-long hearing, to be conducted by telephone among the judges of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals at 6 pm will determine the immediate fate of the nationwide temporary restraining order against Trump's travel ban, CNN reported. 

The case will be heard by Judge William C. Canby Jr., appointed by Jimmy Carter; Judge Michelle T. Friedland, appointed by Barack Obama; and Judge Richard R Clifton, appointed by George W. Bush.

Attorney generals for Washington and Minnesota, who challenged the executive order, said that the temporary restraining order should remain in place because the President had "unleashed chaos" by signing the ban order, according to the report.

Trump's order caused massive confusion in airports across the country, left those with valid visas and refugees seeking asylum in legal limbo and prompted the President himself to launch an attack on Seattle Judge James Robart who ruled against him. 

The order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — from entering the US for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.

Robart suspended the key parts of the executive order nationwide. Trump fired off two tweets in response. In one, he referred to Robart as a "so called" judge. 

In another, he said "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!"

The government has said that Robart's injunction should be lifted for now and the executive order should be cleared to go back into effect while the legal process continues, according to the report.

"The executive order is a lawful exercise of the President's authority over the entry of aliens into the US and the admission of refugees," the Justice Department wrote in a brief on Monday evening. It argued that the district court "erred" in entering a "sweeping nationwide injunction".

If the restraining order is upheld, Trump could ask the Supreme Court to step in. 

Trial judges around the country, including in Boston, blocked aspects of Trump's executive order.

On Monday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said the administration stood ready to reinstate the entire ban, the New York Times reported. 

In his own remarks, Trump said the US should admit "people that love us and want to love our country and will end up loving our country" and not "people that want to destroy us and destroy our country".

Several former diplomatic and national security officials filed a declaration against the ban, including John Kerry, secretary of state under Obama, and Madeleine Albright, who had the position in the Clinton administration.