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Santorum: Trump’s Saudi Arabia Speech Will Help Travel Ban Win in Court

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Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum claimed on Sunday that President Donald Trump‘s Saudi Arabia speech will only benefit the travel ban in court.

“It’s going to very hard now to just say, ‘This is a Muslim hater, he hates Islam, he wants to ban Muslims,'” said Santorum on CNN’s State of the Union. “All the Solicitor [General] now has to do now is play parts of that speech, and you’ve now deflected that.”

The President appeared in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, and insisted his problem was with terrorism, and not Islam.

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” he said. “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people all in the name of religion.”

Trump’s travel ban against seven Muslim-majority nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) attracted a quite of opposition in court from the moment it was signed on January 27. Plaintiffs in Brooklyn quickly got a temporary injunction the day after.

Plaintiffs often argue that it violates the exercise clause of the First Amendment by targeting Muslims. They point to the president’s campaign promise, now scrubbed from his website, to implement a “Muslim ban,” and they also cite a interview from Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani claiming Trump asked him how to legally make a “Muslim ban.”

Lawsuits sprouted nationwide, leading to a revised executive order in March. It removed Iraq from the list, and attempted to address concerns mentioned in court. This didn’t exactly make things easier for the administration. A district judge in Hawaii issued an indefinite hold. Appellate judges in the Fourth and Ninth Circuits have recently heard the case.

[Screengrab via CNN]

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