U.S. appeals court judges on Monday questioned the lawyer defending President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban about whether it discriminates against Muslims and pressed challengers to explain why the court should not defer to Trump’s presidential powers to set the policy.
The three-judge 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel was the second court in a week to review Trump’s directive banning people entering the United States from six Muslim-majority countries.
Opponents – including the state of Hawaii and civil rights groups – say that both Trump’s first ban and later revised ban discriminate against Muslims. The government argues that the text of the order does not mention any specific religion and is needed to protect the country against attacks.