The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments this evening over whether President Trump’s travel ban should remain on hold or go back into effect.
Trump’s executive order temporarily barred visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries, as well as all refugees, from entering the country. It was signed on Jan. 27 and quickly challenged by an array of lawsuits.
One of those cases resulted in a temporary restraining order, blocking the ban — for now — from going into effect. It’s that restraining order, not the merits of the ban as a whole, that lawyers will be arguing over today.
The arguments before a three-judge panel will be held by telephone at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT), and you can listen live online. Here are a few things to know before the arguments get going:
How did we get here?
Trump’s original executive order (which we’ve annotated here) bars travelers from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia for 90 days, suspends new refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocks refugees from Syria indefinitely.
The White House denies that this amounts to a “Muslim ban,” as Trump called for during the presidential election. But all seven of the listed countries are majority-Muslim. The order calls for the eventual prioritization of refugee claims from people of “minority religions” in their country of origin — and in an interview Trump said that Christians from the Middle East would be prioritized.