A federal judge's ruling in Seattle Friday set up a showdown between President Trump and the courts. Three appellate judges will hear oral arguments Tuesday afternoon.

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Three appellate court judges will hear oral arguments Tuesday afternoon over President Trump’s executive order barring travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries.

Trump’s order was halted by Seattle U.S. District Judge James Robart on Friday, setting up a showdown between the courts and the Trump administration.

So, what can we expect?

  • Oral arguments are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. PST.
  • The hearing will be streamed live. Follow it here.
  • Only audio will be available as the hearing is being conducted by telephone by judges in three cities.
  • Three possible outcomes are expected: If the restraining order against President Trump’s order is upheld, for example, the Justice Department could either ask for a rehearing, seek a hearing from a larger panel of at least 11 judges or escalate the case to the Supreme Court.
  • We already know what the Trump administration is arguing. In a response filed Monday afternoon, the government said judge Robart exceeded his authority and that Trump acted within his when he issued the order last month, citing national security.
  • Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson argues that Trump’s executive order is a thinly disguised effort by the president to fulfill a campaign promise to ban Muslims from coming to the U.S. The state argued that a ban based on a religious litmus test would violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution preventing the government from endorsing or discriminating against one religion over another.
  • Judge Robart said Friday that Washington had met the high burden to justify a restraining order by showing that Trump’s order was causing “immediate and irreparable injury,” and that the state had a substantial likelihood of winning its underlying lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the travel ban.
U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle on Friday ordered a national halt to enforcement of President Trump’s controversial travel ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations. (Video courtesy of U.S. Courts)
  • He wrote in his ruling: “The executive order adversely affects the state’s residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel.” Robart added that the order also harmed the state’s public universities and tax base: “These harms are significant and ongoing.”
  • Trump has slammed Robart on Twitter, calling him a “so-called” judge. Robart is a respected Seattle jurist and a GOP appointee.

Information from The Seattle Times archive is included in this report.