Donald Trump’s statements about banning Muslims during the presidential campaign are now at the heart of the court battle over his travel ban.
On Monday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held oral arguments on the president’s executive order banning people from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States for 90 days. In reviewing the decision of a federal district judge in Maryland, who blocked the ban from going into effect, the judges of the 4thCircuit focused almost exclusively on the question of whether Trump’s campaign pledge to ban Muslims should be taken into consideration when weighing the constitutionality of the travel ban.
In December 2015, then-candidate Trump called for “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Trump repeated and stuck by his policy throughout the campaign. His original statement remained on his campaign’s website until sometime Monday, when it disappeared around the time a reporter asked about its continued presence online during the daily White House press briefing.