The DOJ/Trump lawyer had a very tough morning before the 9th Circuit judges today, and no wonder.
Judge Hawkins asked:
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've consulted with lawyers and I'm now addressing it simply to security needs. Has he ever said anything approaching that?
DOJ Lawyer Jeffrey Wall does his best, referring to a third party brief (!?) to explain that Trump has "clarified" his campaign statements.
But the judges noted that the "Muslim ban" stuff didn't come down off of the Trump campaign website until when? May 8?! And they were not, as great legal minds would put it, "impressed."
A second judge on the panel mentioned "Koramatsu," the case that upheld the inhumane detention of Japanese citizens during World War II, and that is now universally condemned as a bad case.
The longest stretch Trump's lawyers made, however, was hinting that Trump was being discriminated against because of his campaign statements. That if any other president had signed this executive order (duh, they wouldn't) it would have passed muster with the courts, but because Trump said not-nice things about Muslims during the campaign, the courts and liberal lawyers are up in arms about it, therefore the court should ignore everything Trump has said about the executive order (including when he said he liked the first one better on a public stage?!) and just read the words.
Just reading the words is just as bad. Nice try, though.
Will Trump and the Justice Department pursue this to the Supreme Court? Likely. You know our side will in the unlikely event we lose here.