A US COURT was set to rule yesterday on an appeal against last week’s overturning of President Donald Trump’s seven-nation travel ban.
The San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals conducted hearings on Tuesday by phone — an unusual step — which were broadcast on cable TV and YouTube.
The case was brought by the governments of Minnesota and Washington state.
Judge Richard Clifton told their lawyer: “I have trouble understanding why we’re supposed to infer religious animus when in fact the vast majority of Muslims would not be affected.”
He said that, by his own calculation, the seven countries affected are home to 15 per cent of the world’s Muslims.
Washington Solicitor General Noah Purcell countered that the applicants only had to show the the ban was motivated by religious discrimination.
Judge Clifton pressed Justice Department lawyer August Flentje to deny a recent statement by former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who said that Mr Trump had asked him to create a plan for a “Muslim” ban.
Mr Flentje did not dispute that, but offered a compromise, saying the court could exempt people who have previously been admitted to the US from the ban.
Mr Trump tweeted yesterday, ahead of the judgement: “If the US does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled.”
He said he would discuss the “horrible, dangerous and wrong decision” at a 9am meeting with police chiefs and sheriffs from across the country.
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