If you're a progressive, or a politically aware person, or simply someone who's observed all the tumult, protest, and outcry since President Donald Trump signed his refugee ban executive order, then you don't need to be told what a hugely contentious issue it is. All the more so since it's entered the federal court system, which has returned several rulings slapping down the order. And on Tuesday, Feb. 7, the next step in the case is going down. Here's how to stream the refugee ban court hearing happening this afternoon, where attorneys for and against will deliver oral arguments.
Sad to say, the stream won't include video, but that's hardly the most important part. It'll be audio only, and luckily, it should be perfectly easy and simple to follow along from your computer or mobile device. The whole thing will be streamed live on YouTube, meaning you'll only need to open up a tab, crank up the volume, and listen along. You can even do so from this very page ― the frame embedded below will be streaming the oral arguments starting at 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. local time from the James R. Browning Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco, California.
Basically, if this issue matters to you, or to people close to you, or if you have a requisite amount of sympathy and empathy for the tens of thousands of people who've been affected ― about 60,000 visas were reportedly voided by the order ― you'll want to follow along. The stakes are very high, given that the very the implementation of the Muslim ban hangs in the balance.
Trump, for his part, has publicly castigated judges that rule against him, and even suggested that U.S. District Judge James Robart should bear responsibility in the event of a terrorist attack. It's an all-out public opinion campaign against a member of the federal judiciary, and although it wouldn't be any more acceptable were he an Obama appointee, it happens to be against a judge appointed by former Republican president George W. Bush.
Trump's preemptive scapegoating of Judge Robart for any attacks that might happen on his watch was addressed during the White House press briefing on Tuesday, hours before the scheduled hearing. Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed that "there's no question the president respects the judicial branch and its ruling." But, like, is that really true, though?
The hearing will be before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is widely considered the most liberal of the circuit courts. However, that says nothing in and of itself about how the case will ultimately be decided. In addition to the fact that the reputation may be somewhat exaggerated, it's a very perilous business for legal amateurs to try to predict court rulings. Trump has also indicated that he'll take this fight to the Supreme Court if need be. Although in the event of a 4-4 deadlock, should Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch not be confirmed by then, the ruling of the most recent lower court would stand.