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A Seattle Appeals Court Hears Arguments Over Trump's Travel Ban

Lawyers argued on Monday over the Trump administration's travel and refugee ban in a federal appeals court in Seattle. Attorneys representing the federal government faced off against a lawyer representing the State of Hawaii, which is challenging President Donald Trump's ban. In March, a Hawaii judge blocked the ban from going into effect. The federal government appealed that decision—as well as a similar decision made in Maryland—in hopes of getting the ban reinstated.

The travel ban would halt the United States' refugee program and temporarily keep citizens of Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Iran from visiting the U.S. It's the second such executive order Trump has signed, after the first one met stiff legal challenges.

During Monday's hearing, the three-judge panel asked lawyers representing the Trump administration whether the president had intended to discriminate against Muslims; during his presidential campaign, Trump had promised to stop Muslims from entering the U.S.

The Seattle panel asked whether the travel ban is comparable to the executive order issued during World War II that sent Japanese Americans to concentration camps. The judges also questioned Neal Katyal, the lawyer representing Hawaii, about previous arguments he'd made supporting a president's broad authority over immigration, and whether Trump's campaign statements would prevent him from ever ordering anything like the travel ban in the future.