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Who are the lawyers and judges debating Trump’s travel ban?

By on May 15, 2017

SEATTLE — Two lawyers with broad experience before the U.S. Supreme Court argued for and against President Donald Trump’s travel ban Monday before a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Three judges appointed by President Bill Clinton heard the case over the executive order that targets six predominantly Muslim countries.

The attorneys who made the arguments for Hawaii and President Donald Trump:


Katyal, who represented Hawaii in the proceedings, is a former acting Solicitor General of the United States under President Barack Obama. A professor at Georgetown University Law Center, he has argued more than 30 cases before the United States Supreme Court.

He successfully defended the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and won a landmark decision in a case that challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when the Supreme Court found that President George W. Bush’s tribunals violated domestic and military law.


Wall, the acting Solicitor General, represented President Trump. Wall has been acting Solicitor General since March, representing the federal government before the United States Supreme Court.

Wall was formerly a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and has argued before the nation’s top court 11 times. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and worked as co-head of the appellate litigation practice at Sullivan & Cromwell, an international law firm headquartered in New York.

Court likely to question if Trump’s travel ban discriminates

The three 9th Circuit judges are:


Clinton, a Democrat, appointed Hawkins in 1994 after Hawkins served as Arizona’s top federal prosecutor from 1977 to 1980 and as a U.S. Marine Corps judge deciding court martials from 1973 to 1976.

Hawkins was in private practice for 14 years before Clinton appointed him.

In 2012. Hawkins joined Judge Stephen Reinhardt’s majority ruling striking down California’s gay marriage ban. It was the first federal appeals court ruling that determined gay marriage bans were unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court, in another case, ruled similarly three years later.


Clinton appointed Gould in 1999. After clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Judge Potter Stewart from 1974 to 1975, Gould joined the prominent law firm Perkins Coie, where he remained until his appointment to the bench.

Gould listens to oral arguments electronically from his Seattle court because of multiple sclerosis.

In 2014, he wrote the majority decision that high schools must provide the same athletic amenities to girls as boys. The ruling expanded the U.S Department of Education’s so-called Title IX mandate to treat male and female college athletes the same.


Clinton elevated Paez to the appeals court from federal district court in Los Angeles in 1999. Clinton had appointed Paez to the district court five years earlier after Paez spent 13 years as a state judge in California.

Before he became a judge, Paez worked as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Western Center on Law and Poverty and California Rural Legal Assistance.

He wrote the majority opinion in 2011 that Arizona lawmakers went too far when they enacted strict immigration regulations, including making it a state crime to lack immigration papers. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled similarly.

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