Trump assails “political” courts as his travel ban faces legal test

US President Donald Trump's remarks come a day after federal judges grilled Justice Department's lawyers during a hearing into his controversial travel ban.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

During Tuesday's hearing Judge Michelle Friedland asked, "Has the government pointed to any evidence connecting these countries with terrorism?"

Updated Feb 9, 2017

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday called the US courts “political”, as an appeals court weighed whether to reinstate his executive order barring US entry to refugees and nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries.

Addressing a gathering of police chiefs and sheriffs in Washington DC, Trump expressed "amazement" over questions raised about the ban during a hearing on Tuesday by three federal appeals judges.

He said what he heard was "disgraceful, just disgraceful."

"I don't ever want to call a court biased, so I won't call it biased and we haven't had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political," Trump said.

TRT World ’s Jennifer Glasse is following the developments from Washington DC.

Legal challenge

The ban was suspended nationwide on Friday by a federal judge in Seattle, after two US states asked it to be overturned on grounds of religious discrimination.

Taking up the case, the federal court of appeals in San Francisco heard oral arguments in a live-streamed conference call on Tuesday.

"Has the government pointed to any evidence connecting these countries with terrorism?" asked Judge Michelle Friedland.

During the hearing a Justice Department lawyer argued that the president had clear authority to order the ban on national security grounds.

The appeals court must decide whether to maintain the lower court's suspension, modify it or lift it. Its ruling was expected before the end of the week.

But the case is likely to eventually wind up in the Supreme Court.