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Trump Travel Ban in Court: U.S. Solicitor General Cites to SLF Briefs in 9th, 4th Circuit Oral Arguments

May 17, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA/BALTIMORE, MD:  Acting Solicitor General of the United States Jeffrey Wall, tasked with defending the Trump Executive Order providing a temporary halt to certain immigration in both the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals this week, relied on SLF's brief and referenced it by name. It was the only amicus brief referenced by the government, and one of only a few referenced by either side. Below are the relevant parts of the transcripts.

 

9th Circuit:

 

 

 

 

JUDGE HAWKINS: Has the president ever disavowed his campaign statements? 

Has he ever stood up and said, I said before I wanted to ban all members of the Islamic faith from entering the United States of America, I was wrong, I have consulted with lawyers, I'm now addressing it simply to security needs?

Has he ever said anything approaching that? 

MR. WALL: Yes, Judge Hawkins, he has said several things approaching that. 

And I think it's detailed in various amicus briefs. The best one is probably the Southeastern Legal Foundation brief, and part three walks threat right comments and shows that over time the president clarified that what he was talking about were Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that shelter or sponsor them.

And over time, he and his advisers clarify that what he was focused on were groups like ISIS and al Qaeda. 

 

4th Circuit:

 

MR. WALL: ... I want to take on ... the bad faith exception, courts never applied it to be sure, Justice Kennedy and Justice Alito indicated it was there, but look what they said, it requires an affirmative showing of bad faith. If that is true for a senior one-off decision, we should require only [more] in order to interfere in a formal national security determination of the President after consultation after multiple Cabinet officials, that is remarkable thing and the bar has to be very high. What we are talking about is reaching back to a handful of campaign statements were I think in fairness the Southeastern ...

 

JUDGE FLOYD: ... Is there anything other than willful blindness that would prevent us from getting behind those statements?

 

MR. WALL: Yes, Judge Floyd. Respect for the head of a coordinate branch and the presumption that officials acted legally. I think the Southeastern Legal Foundation did a great job ...

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