Another unexpected departure from typical Supreme Court norms on Wednesday came just after Neal Katyal, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, made some closing statements after being questioned by the justices. He said the policy's call for a report every six months "indicates there'll be a reassessment" from time to time.
Opponents say it is unconstitutional because it targets Muslims, but others point out it only effects eight-percent of the world's Muslim population.
Khizr Khan, a gold star father who's been critical of Donald Trump, meets with U.S. Sen. But Wednesday was the first time the justices considered the travel ban in open court.
The challengers led by the state of Hawaii have argued the policy was motivated by Trump's enmity toward Muslims and that it violates federal immigration law and the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on the government favoring one religion over another.
The current version is indefinite and now applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. If it were, it would be the most ineffective Muslim ban that one could possibly imagine since not only does it exclude the vast majority of the Muslim world, it also omits three Muslim-majority countries that were covered by past orders, including Iraq, Chad and Sudan. Two previous versions were temporary.
Francisco said the fact the administration revised and narrowed its list of countries shows that it was acting in good faith when developing the latest version of the travel ban.
First of all, I think that the proclamation is very transparent and lays out in great detail both the process and the substance upon which the proclamation is based.
Did the administration provide enough detail to support its reasons for the travel ban? Immigrant rights groups had hoped at least one of the two justices would vote to overturn the ban.
Chief Justice Roberts elicits a concession: that Mr. Trump could immunize his travel ban from constitutional challenges by disavowing his earlier statements about banning Muslims.
The Supreme Court is considering whether the president can indefinitely keep people out of the country based on nationality.
"If you accept their idea that the President has such a sweeping power", he warned the Justices, "he could end, for example, the family preference system and impose and end to so-called chain migration". Congress should seriously consider it for judges who are irresponsibly abusing their positions on the bench to do whatever it takes to keep the nation's duly elected president from actually governing. Also, he added, the comments Trump made are not related to the ban.
"Whatever he said in his campaign is irrelevant?" he asked. Lower courts blocked it and it was withdrawn.
Is it the courts' place to second-guess the president?.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono addresses a crowd of protesters outside the Supreme Court after oral arguments in Trump v. Hawaii. "Because often, questions by the justices do not reveal how they truly feel", Napolitano said.
"They're going to make a decision by the end of June and I fully expect it will be a split decision", Chin said.
Hirono is an immigrant who came to the USA from Japan as a child.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS:Is your answer to my question yes? "We can't let this kind of executive order stand without pushing back".