For the second time in President Donald Trump’s young administration, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will examine the legality of an executive order temporarily blocking foreigners from traveling to the US.
Last month, a federal judge in Hawaii indefinitely halted core portions of the Trump’s revised travel ban on the grounds that it likely violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution by disfavoring Muslims.
On Monday, the court agreed to the parties’ request for a speedy appeal and will hear oral arguments sometime in May.
But this isn’t the first time the 9th Circuit has been tasked with deciding the immediate fate of the President’s travel ban.
In February, the court declined to reinstate Trump’s first executive order, which caused immediate chaos across the country after it was rolled out without any notice and sought to ban foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country for 90 days and blocked all refugees entering the country for 120 days.
As a result, the Trump administration went back to the drawing board, devising a revised executive order last month that kept the 90-day ban and the 120-day ban in place, but explicitly excluded green card holders and those traveling on valid visas (while also removing Iraq from the list of countries affected).
At least two federal judges — one in Hawaii and one in Maryland — concluded that these changes weren’t sufficient to pass constitutional muster, but one judge based in Virginia sided with the Trump administration.
While the 9th Circuit has not announced which three judges on the court will hear the Trump administration’s appeal of the Hawaii case in May, at least five Republican-appointed members of the court signaled their support of the President’s legal authority to enact this type of travel ban in an unsolicited order last month.