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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Judges Hear Arguments On Trump's Travel Ban

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File photo of the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco.

Last Friday, federal Judge James Robart in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven mostly Muslim countries. That ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Tuesday the U.S. Department of Justice asked a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the travel ban. During oral arguments government attorney August Flentje said it’s a matter of national security.

“In 2015 and 2016, both Congress and the Administration made determinations that these seven countries posed the greatest risk of terrorism,” Flentje said. “The executive order relies on that determination.”

Washington Solicitor General Noah Purcell urged the panel not to reinstate Trump’s executive order. He told the judges when the ban was in place it caused “irreparable harm” to Washington state.

“We had students and faculty at our state universities who were stranded overseas, we had families that were separated,” Purcell said. “We had longtime residents who could not travel overseas to visit their families without knowing that they would be able to come back. We had lost tax revenue.”

The court is not expected to make a decision Tuesday.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."