Published : Tuesday, May 16, 2017 | 5:20 AM
A Pasadena-based federal judge was part of a three-judge panel that heard oral arguments Monday about the appeal of Hawaii’s challenge to President Donald Trump’s travel ban against six predominantly Muslim countries.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the arguments in its Seattle, Washington, courthouse for an hour starting at 9:30 a.m.
Judge Richard Paez, 70, was elevated by former President Bill Clinton to the appeals court 1999. Paez had served the federal district court in Los Angeles five years earlier after spending 13 years as a state judge in California.
He has been active on the Court of Appeals, which is based at 125 South Grand Avenue in Pasadena, since his appointment.
Before becoming a judge, Paez was a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation in Los Angeles, Western Center on Law and Poverty and California Rural Legal Assistance.
Judge Paez wrote the 2011 majority opinion that said 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.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Paez graduated from Brigham Young University in 1969 and finished with a Juris Doctor degree in 1972 at UC Berkeley School of Law.
The other judges on the panel during the Seattle oral argments were Michael Daly Hawkins, 72, who was appointed in 1994, and Ronald Gould, 72, appointed in 1999.
Trump has frequently been critical of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In February, the court maintained a freeze on the president’s controversial immigration order that barred refugees and citizens from the six Muslim-dominated countries.
The court rejected the government’s argument that the suspension of the order should be lifted right away for national security reasons.
Trump reacted on Twitter minutes after the ruling, challenging the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court to “see you in court, the security of our nation is at stake!”
He later told reporters the judges’s decision was political.
Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, heard oral arguments on the matter.
To reinstate the ban, the Department of Justice will have to win in both courts, or else decide to escalate to the Supreme Court.