Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Anticipating widespread public interest, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has authorized live television broadcast of arguments over President Trump's travel ban.
C-SPAN will also carry the feed live for other broadcasters on May 15, 2017, from the William K. Nakamura Courthouse in Seattle, Washington. The court will independently stream arguments for internet viewers.
The case, which marks the second time Trump has run afoul of the courts by banning nationals from certain countries, has picked up public steam since Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized Judge Derrick Watson for blocking the president's orders.
"Judge Sitting on an Island"
Sessions, known for racially-charged statements in the past, stirred controversy in the travel-ban mix when he leveled criticism at the Hawaiian judge.
"I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power," Sessions said during an interview last week.
Sessions' remarks ignited a public backlash, pushing him to defend his comments later on CNN. He said he would not change his statement and complained instead that "nobody has a sense of humor anymore."
Judge Watson, a Harvard law graduate, is the only Native Hawaiian on the federal bench. He was serving as a federal prosecutor at the time of his appointment in 2013.
Sessions, an Alabama law school graduate, was appointed by Donald Trump in February. He was serving as a U.S. Senator at the time of his appointment, surviving questions about his contacts with Russia and racist remarks.
A Senate committee had denied him a federal judgeship in 1989 after allegations that he called a black U.S. attorney "boy" and joked about the KKK. He reportedly said he thought the KKK was OK, until he heard they smoked marijuana.
Sessions has long supported Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. The Ninth Circuit knocked down the president's first orders directed at Muslim nations, prompting what Trump called the "watered down version."