Hawaii Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Revised Travel Ban


A federal judge in Honolulu blocked President Trump’s revised travel ban, issuing a nationwide, temporary restraining order that that will prevent the ban from going into effect.

In an interview with CNN, last week, Neal Katyal, one of Hawaii’s lead attorneys, said, “To be sure, the new executive order covers fewer people than the old one.” But, in his view, the ban still “suffers from the same constitutional and statutory defects.”

Country of origin is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the United States, according to a Department of Homeland Security report prepared by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis in coordination with the State Department, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the National Counterterrorism Center and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The report, which was leaked to MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, undermined the central argument for Trump’s travel ban, affirming foreign-born extremists who plan violent attacks in the United States typically radicalize after having lived in America for some time.

Federal Judge, Derrick Watson, said he couldn’t turn a blind eye to Trump’s statements during the campaign. Trump explicitly, in no uncertain terms, called for a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the country.” The original ban made an exception for Christian refugees to enter the United States while banning all others from predominantly Muslim countries. Furthermore, Rudy Giuliani, said on FoxNews, “I’ll tell you the whole history of it. So when (Trump) first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.” These statements are devastating to any case the administration wants to make this isn’t a Muslim ban.

Ilya Somin, a George Mason University law professor, said, “Those statements are definitely relevant, because there’s a longstanding doctrine that there can be laws or executive orders that on their face don’t discriminative on the basis of race or religion but that is their motive — and if that is their motive, they can be struck down.”

“When considered alongside the constitutional injuries and harms … and the questionable evidence supporting the government’s national security motivations, the balance of equities and public interests justify granting” the temporary restraining order.” wrote the Judge, adding, “national security is unquestionably important to the public at large. Plaintiffs and the public, on the other hand, have a vested interest in the “free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination.”

Other states – Washington, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon – have filed separate lawsuits against the ban.

The administration is almost certain to appeal and the case will return to the ninth circuit, potentially make its way to the Supreme Court.

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