What you need to know about Tuesday's 'Immigration Ban' hearing

Posted at 1:51 PM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 17:06:24-05
SAN FRANCISCO (KGTV) --  The world will be fixed on Northern California Tuesday afternoon where a panel of three federal judges will hear oral arguments over President Donald Trump's executive order on his immigration travel ban.
The San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will have an hour-long hearing, conducted by telephone among three West coast judges, to decide whether to stay a temporary restraining order issued by Seattle U.S. District Judge James L. Robart that stopped nationwide enforcement of the travel ban from seven majority-Muslim nations.
With a total of 44 judges, the Ninth Circuit -- which covers nine states on the West coast -- has the highest percentage of sitting judges appointed by Democratic presidents. Republicans and conservative groups have attempted to split the court arguing that the Ninth Circuit is biased due to the high number of Democratic appointees.
But although the hearing will be held in one of the most liberal cities and courts in the Nation, experts say this doesn't mean it will be a slam dunk for Washington's Attorney General who filed the challenge. Experts say that the court has moved to the middle since President Jimmy Carter's appointees have either retired or passed away.
So who are the judges?
Senior Circuit Judge William C. Canby Jr. was appointed by Carter in 1980; Senior Circuit Judge Richard R. Clifton was appointed by Bush in 2002; and Circuit Judge Michelle T. Friedland was appointed by Obama in 2014.  The were randomly assigned to hear today's high-stakes legal battle.
Clifton, 66, He graduated from Princeton University in 1972 and earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1975. In 2006, made national headlines for upholding the imprisonment of journalist Josh Wolf.  Wolf served 226 in jail for declining a court order to turnover video footage showing protesters near a rally where a police car was set ablaze.
Friedland, 46, a Bay Area-born scholar, graduated from Stanford as an undergraduate and from its law school. Before her confirmation to the Ninth Circuit Court, she was an attorney representing "a number of corporate clients in cases involving a wide range of legal issues, including antitrust, tax, patent, copyright, and consumer class actions. She frequently represented the University of California in cases involving constitutional issues," according to an online profile.
Canby Jr., 85, is a founding faculty member of Arizona State University's Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. In 1962, Judge Canby and his wife, Jane, helped establish the Peace Corps in Africa, serving first in Ethiopia, then as a Director in Uganda. According to ASU profile, "Canby has also devoted numerous hours to assisting Arizona farmworkers and other citizens in need of legal help."
A ruling could come within a week, experts told the Los Angeles Times.
The three-judge panel will not decide on the constitutionality of Trump’s order but rather whether the hold should remain while those large issues are resolved.
If Trump loses, he will most likely go to the Supreme Court. Because the justices are understaffed with only eight judges, there is a chance that they could split on the ruling 4-4 meaning the Ninth Circuit Court decision will be upheld.
No matter who loses, the case will very likely end up in the Supreme Court.
The 9th Circuit is known as the most liberal federal appeals court, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the Ninth Circuit is by far the largest of the thirteen courts of appeals, with 29 active judgeships.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (in case citations, 9th Cir.) is a U.S. Federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:
  • District of Alaska
  • District of Arizona
  • Central District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • District of Hawaii
  • District of Idaho
  • District of Montana
  • District of Nevada
  • District of Oregon
  • Eastern District of Washington
  • Western District of Washington
It also has appellate jurisdiction over the following territorial courts:
District of Guam
District of the Northern Mariana Islands
Information from the Associated Press and CNN was used in this report.