In less than a week, all eyes will be on Richmond as 13 judges for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals hear oral arguments in President Donald Trump's travel ban appeal case.
The fate of a controversial executive order by Trump begins with what is called an "en banc" hearing.
"What's happened here, instead, is we've bypassed the three judge panel and its going immediately to all the judges, said Kevin Walsh, a law professor at the University of Richmond. He said it's a move to help expedite the process
"If you think that ultimately this needs to be resolved nationwide and the court to do that is the Supreme Court of the United States," Walsh said, "this will take out a layer in route to the Supreme Court."
The oral arguments will happen in a room in downtown Richmond at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The 13 judges, who are made up of both Republicans and Democrats, will listen to lawyers from the Trump administration and for those represented in the lawsuit.
This all comes after a US District Court Judge in Maryland imposed a halt to the portion of the president's revised executive order that barred foreign nationals from six majority-Muslim nations from entering the country.
A similar scenario will play out in the 9th Circuit Court after a judge in Hawaii did the same.
"I think from a litigation strategy perspective, it makes a lot of sense," Walsh said. "If you’re challenging an order by this administration, you would file in a trial court that feeds up to the Fourth and Ninth Circuit, given your assessment as a lawyer of the composition of the court and its ways it will exercise its legal judgment."
On Monday, both sides make their cases, but there's no timeline as to when the judges will make their decisions. The Supreme Court could still ask to review the case.
Walsh does believe it will end up in the highest court of the land, with timing now on the president's side with his supreme court pick, Neil Gorsuch, now on the bench.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hold their hearings on Monday, May 15.
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