y Judges in travel ban appeal press lawyers about Trump’s comments

Judge Michael Daly Hawkins asked a Justice Department lawyer whether Trump had “ever disavowed his campaign statements,”

Judge Ronald M. Gould inquired about how the court should determine if the executive order was “a Muslim ban in the guise of a national security justification.”

.. acting solicitor general Jeffrey B. Wall told the judges that they need only determine whether there was a “rational basis” for the president’s travel ban, and if they thought there was some bad intent, they should focus on official, unequivocal statements as evidence.

.. “We shouldn’t start down the road of psychoanalyzing what people meant on the campaign trail,” Wall said.

.. Pressed at the daily briefing Monday about whether the president would repudiate his previous comments, White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to answer specifically

.. Lawyer Neal Katyal, arguing the case on behalf of those who sued over the ban, said the judges should simply ask themselves “what would an objective observer think, with these sorts of statements.”

.. Katyal noted that when Trump signed the first version of his travel ban, which he later revoked and rewrote, the president read the title and commented, “We all know what that means”

.. after a court blocked the revised order, Katyal said, Trump declared the new measure a “watered-down” version of the first.

.. Pressed by Paez on whether the order would be constitutional if it was signed by someone who had not made such comments, Katyal quipped, “If you don’t say all these things, you never wind up with an executive order like this.”