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Supreme Court hears arguments on Trump travel ban

SEATTLE -- When President Donald Trump first issued an executive order for a travel ban last year, protesters spilled into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

On that January day, some travelers were turned way.

"To have them fly across the ocean, be six feet from their loved ones and then be told they can't come in, that's grossly, cruelty, inhumane," said Gov. Jay Inslee at the time.

The executive order caused chaos across the country.

"I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America, we don't want them here," President Trump said in his initial announcement.

The state of Washington swiftly responded. A U.S. District Court judge blocked the ban nationwide.

"It's been a team effort," said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson at the time. "I'm proud to lead this team that again has demonstrated the power of the law in holding everyone in our country accountable to that rule of law, including the president."

With the first travel ban tied up in courts, President Trump issued two more. The third version is the one under scrutiny at the Supreme Court this week.

The first travel ban blocked entry for all citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

The latest version takes a different approach and includes more specific restrictions. By adding countries like North Korea and Venezuela to the mix, it takes the focus off predominantly Muslim countries. Or at least that's what the Trump administration wants to get across to the justices.

"If you looked at the 10 countries with the most Muslims, exactly one, Iran, would be on that list of the top 10," said Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito during Wednesday's oral arguments.

Many members of Washington’s congressional delegation, including  Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle, are still fighting any version of the ban.

"Let me say first that hate has no place here and the Muslim ban is unconstitutional," Jayapal said at a protest outside the Supreme Court.

But experts say based on the way oral arguments went Wednesday, the court could be leaning in Trump's favor.