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>> President Donald Trump's bid to revive his contentious ban on travel from six Mideastern and North African nations facing a searing test Monday in a Richmond courtroom. Several judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals voicing doubts whether it was national security driving the ban, as the White House maintains, or religious bias.
The six nations under the ban all overwhelmingly Muslim. Reporter Lawrence Hurley was in the courtroom. This is the first appeals court to have actually considered the new version of the ban. This is the next big test for this executive order that was first issued in January and then revised after it was blocked by a different court.
>> The judges of the United States Court of Appeals for->> In a mark of the cases magnitude, the federal court allowing a rare audio feed of Monday's proceedings. Judge Barbara Keenan, a Democratic appointee, asking Acting Solicitor, Jeffrey Wall, who argued the case for Trump, whether his campaign calls for a Muslim ban wouldn't have bearing on the case.
>> And then the President could say that every day as a candidate for a year, I intend to ban Muslims, and then the first day in office, he does that. You have to, you're saying that none of those statements could be considered, we would only be considering legitimacy of the order itself.
>> Judge Keenan, obviously we think you don't need to get into any of that here, because the law is not a Muslim ban.>> If the court decides that those statements should be considered, then based on the hearing today, it looks like the administration could lose the case.
But it depends on how the court analyzes it, and if they find that Trump's statements are key.>> Judge Paul Niemeyer, a Republican appointee, said those challenging the order were asking the court to second- guess a president's national security judgments. Arguing against the ban, Omar Jadwat, a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Who said the order violated the Constitution's establishment clause requiring the government to take a neutral stand on religion.>> This is the first appeals court to hear it, the second one will be hearing it next week in Seattle. So these two court decisions together will tell us a lot about how this order is going to be seen by the courts and whether it's going to get to the Supreme Court and eventually how the Supreme Court will rule.