Trump's Comments on Muslims at Center of Travel Ban Case - NECN
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Trump's Comments on Muslims at Center of Travel Ban Case

Of the 13 judges on the panel, three were appointed by Republican presidents and nine were appointed by Democrats

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer was on the defensive in his Monday afternoon press conference when speaking about President Donald Trump's travel ban appeal and the Kushner family's attempt to recruit Chinese investors for an "investor visa" program. He said "[Kushner] wasn't involved." (Published Monday, May 8, 2017)

    A challenge to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban appears to hinge on whether a federal appeals court agrees that the Republican's past anti-Muslim statements can be used against him.

    The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrestled Monday with whether the court should look beyond the text of the executive order to comments made by Trump and his aides on the campaign trail and after his election in order to determine whether the policy illegally targets Muslims.

    "That's the most important issue in the whole case," said Judge Robert B. King, who was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton.

    The panel of 13 judges peppered both sides with tough questions but gave few clues as to how they might rule. The judges did not immediately issue a decision on Monday.

    Trump Travel Ban Blocked as Budget Plan Looms on Safety Nets

    [NATL] Trump Travel Ban Blocked as Budget Plan Looms on Social Programs

    A revised travel ban penned by President Donald Trump was held by a Hawaii judge the same day it was supposed to go into effect on Wednesday as Trump laid out a new budget plan, setting money aside for a border wall along Mexico and the United States as well as increasing the military's budget. Critics are worried that social safety net programs could see their budget slashed. 

    (Published Thursday, March 16, 2017)

    A federal judge in Maryland who blocked the travel ban in March cited Trump's comments as evidence that the executive order is a realization of Trump's repeated promise to bar Muslims from entering the country.

    The administration argues that the court shouldn't question the president's national security decisions based on campaign promises.

    "This is not a Muslim ban. Its text doesn't have to anything to do with religion. Its operation doesn't have anything to do with religion," Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall told the appeals court.

    The countries were chosen because they present terrorism risks and the ban applies to everyone in those countries regardless of religion, Wall said. Further, the banned countries represent a small fraction of the world's Muslim-majority nations, lawyers for the administration say in court documents.

    Omar Jadwat, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, noted that Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S. remained on his campaign website even after he took office. That call, which was still online earlier Monday, appeared to have been taken down by the afternoon hearing.

    Jadwat claims the administration has failed to provide a legitimate national security reason for the policy.

    "The order is completely unprecedented in our nation's history," Jadwat said.

    Several judges expressed skepticism about the idea that the court would blind itself to Trump's comments about Muslims.

    "Don't we get to consider what was actually said here and said very explicitly?" asked Judge James A. Wynn Jr., who was appointed by President Barack Obama.

    White House: ‘No Way’ Trump Tweet to NY Sen. Is Sexist

    [NATL] White House: ‘No Way’ Trump Tweet to NY Sen. Is Sexist

    President Donald Trump tweeted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand would “do anything” for campaign contributions on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Later in the day, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump’s tweet was not sexist.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

    Another judge said he was worried about the idea of court opening the door to using a president's past to evaluate the constitutionality of a policy.

    "Can we look at his college speeches? How about his speeches to business men 20 years ago?" asked Judge Paul V. Niemeyer, who was tapped by President Ronald Reagan.

    The first travel ban in January triggered chaos and protests across the country as travelers were stopped from boarding international flights and detained at airports for hours.

    Alabama Democrat Doug Jones Votes in Senate Race

    [NATL] Alabama Democrat Doug Jones Votes in Senate Race

    Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones says he feels “very confident” on Election Day as he runs against Republican Roy Moore. Supporters greeted Jones as he arrived to vote at a church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, on Tuesday.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

    After a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused in February to let the travel ban take effect, the administration tweaked the order and issued a new one.

    The new version made it clear the 90-day ban covering those six countries doesn't apply to those who already have valid visas. It removed language that would give priority to religious minorities and erased Iraq from the list of banned countries.

    But critics said while the new executive order impacts fewer people, it remains a realization of Trump's promised Muslim ban and cannot stand.

    Alabama Candidates Cast Their Ballots

    [NATL] Alabama Candidates Cast Their Ballots

    Republican Roy Moore, facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, and Democrat Doug Jones cast their ballots in the vote that will send one of them to the U.S. Senate. NBC's Chris Pollone reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

    The ACLU and National Immigration Law Center brought the case on behalf of several organizations, as well as people who live in the U.S. and fear the executive order will prevent them from being reunited with family members from the banned countries.

    Elite universities, democratic attorneys general and former foreign policy and national security officials like ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called on the court to block the travel ban.

    Meanwhile, a group of 12 state attorneys general and the governor of Mississippi argued that the action is not a "pretext for religious discrimination" and should be allowed to take effect.

    Wife of Roy Moore: Our Attorney Is a Jew

    [NATL] Wife of Roy Moore: 'One of Our Attorneys Is a Jew'

    Kayla Moore, wife of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, pushed back against charges of anti-Semitism and racism against her husband in a rally before Alabama's special election, noting that Moore had appointed the first black marshal to the state supreme court, had a Jewish attorney and that the couple had both black and Jewish friends. 

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

    Attorneys for the president likely see the moderate 4th Circuit as friendlier territory than the 9th Circuit, which conservatives have long accused of being too liberal. Three 9th Circuit judges appointed by Clinton are scheduled to hear a more-sweeping challenge to Trump's revised travel ban next week.

    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.

    Two Republican-appointed judges — Judge Allyson K. Duncan and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III — didn't hear the travel ban case. Wilkinson's daughter is married to the acting solicitor general. It was not immediately clear why Duncan was recused.

    White House Denies Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Trump

    [NATL] White House Denies Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Trump

    Three women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct came together on Dec. 11 to share their stories. The White House denied the accusers’ claims.

    (Published Monday, Dec. 11, 2017)