By Matt Zapotosky and Robert Barnes February 7 at 6:40 PM
A federal appeals court panel peppered a government lawyer with skeptical questions Tuesday about why it should — or should not — restore President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Justice Department lawyer August E. Flentje argued that the order was “well within the president’s power as delegated to him by Congress,” and that the president had determined there was a “real risk” in not pausing travel to the U.S. from those countries. But the three-judge panel, at least during his presentation, seemed skeptical, asking about what evidence the government had to necessitate the far-reaching ban and what limits could be imposed on the president’s authority.
Washington Solicitor General Noah Purcell, who is arguing the case to keep the ban frozen, said the government was asking the appeals court to “abdicate” its role as a check on the executive branch and “throw the country back into chaos.” He, too, faced some critical questions.
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