Mar 15 2017

Another Attempt At A Muslim Ban On Hold

Before it even started, Trump’s second executive order than would ban Muslims from six countries has been put on hold nationwide by a federal judge.

Federal judge in Hawaii blocks revised Trump travel ban nationwide
Oliver Laughland and Ed Pilkington New York, and Liz Barney in Honolulu, Hawaii, The Guardian

A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked Donald Trump’s revised travel ban just hours before it was due to go into effect, marking another stinging blow to the administration.

New executive order banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries was due to come into effect from midnight ET

Judge Derrick Watson, a district judge in Honolulu, issued a nationwide temporary restraining order against the travel ban, which targets visa applicants from six Muslim majority countries and temporarily suspends the US refugee resettlement program.

The ruling comes a month after Trump’s first order was blocked by a court in Washington state, prompting the administration to issue a narrower order last week that attempted to navigate some of the complaints made in the first round of legal battles.

But earlier in the day lawyers representing the state of Hawaii had argued the revised order was subject to the same constitutional complaints as the first attempted travel ban because it represented another veiled attack on Muslims.

The claim was rejected by government lawyers who argued the order was issued on national security grounds and displayed no hostility or “animus” towards a particular religion, because the majority of Muslims in the world would not be affected by it.

Ultimately, Judge Watson ruled against that defense stating in a court order that the state of Hawaii, and a local imam who joined the legal challenge as another plaintiff, had “shown a strong likelihood of succeeding on their claim” that the new order was unconstitutional.

“The illogic of the government’s contentions is palpable,” Watson continued in a forthright rebuke. “The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”