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Judges Hear Arguments In Travel Ban Challenge

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
Washington Solicitor General Noah Purcell, center, speaks during a protest rally, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle.

Three judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals say they'll rule "as soon as practical" on the state of Hawaii's legal challenge to President Donald Trump's latest travel restrictions.

Judges Ronald Gould, Richard Paez and Michael Hawkins — who ruled against an earlier version of the travel ban — heard arguments Wednesday in Seattle.

The hearing came two days after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the restrictions to take effect pending decisions by the 9th and 4th Circuits.

Justice Department lawyer Hashim Mooppan insisted to the court that the restrictions fall well within the president's powers.

Arguing for Hawaii, former Solicitor General Neal Katyal urged the judges to strike down Trump's order. Katyal said the administration had not made a required finding that the entry of people from six Muslim-majority nations would be detrimental to the U.S.

About 100 people gathered outside the courthouse to protest the restrictions on travelers from six mostly Muslim nations.

The 4th Circuit is scheduled to hear arguments Friday.