Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Trump's new travel ban takes effect Thursday-unless blocked again

Trump's new travel ban takes effect Thursday-unless blocked again

According to a 43-page opinion posted on the website of District Court of Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson concluded that allowing Trump's revised travel ban to take effect could be construed as discriminating against Muslims.

Even after the judge handed down a ruling citing Trump's comments, Trump made yet another comment that could be used against him in court, calling the new order just a "watered-down" version of the first one. The Ninth Circuit court of appeals deemed it unconstitutional, prompting the administration to rewrite it.

In the new filing, the Department of Justice argues that the judge's order should not have applied to refugees or to the government studies and reports.

Chuang's order (PDF) follows a decision on Wednesday by a Honolulu federal judge who granted the state of Hawaii's request for a restraining order blocking the revised travel ban.

The new ban was supposed to address legal problems associated with the previous executive order, which was blocked last month by US District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle.

Trump's revised ban signed on March 6 had a reduced scope, exempting Iraqis, permanent USA residents and valid visa holders - an effort by the administration to ensure the order passed legal muster. Trump said he would take the case "as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court". Robart is considering a challenge to Trump's new executive order but did not rule on Thursday.

As we've reported, the order would deny entry to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, and suspend the U.S refugee program for 120 days. The Department of Justice said that the ruling of the federal judge is flawed, both in reasoning and scope.

Trump may have a better chance of winning in Richmond than in the San Francisco-based appeals court that would consider an attempt to undo a Hawaii judge's ruling that also halted enforcement of his directive. Watson was able to cite statements from Trump's own aides - including a statement from senior adviser Stephen Miller just before the revised ban was announced - admitting that the initial travel ban was targeted at Muslims and that the second ban was created to achieve the same outcome as the first one. He also noted that while courts should not examine the "veiled psyche" and "secret motives" of government decision-makers, "the remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry".

This, however, isn't the only case on the matter going through the rigour of the courts on Wednesday. Nevertheless, "I do think he'll get a fair shot there", he said of Trump. Many political opponents said that policies pursued by Trump Administration have escalated the racial violence in the USA. She pointed to Mr Trump's promise during his election campaign of "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing Thursday that the government would "vigorously defend this executive order".

"This ruling makes us look weak", the president told a rally in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, adding, "We're going to fight this bad ruling".

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