Two US Judges Block Donald Trump's Revised Travel Ban

Two US Judges Block Donald Trump's Revised Travel Ban

Judge James Robart entered his ruling Thursday, one day after a federal judge in Hawaii blocked Trump's new executive order that would've suspended new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim countries and halted the USA refugee program.

A federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban hours before it was to take effect, marking the second time courts have thwarted Trump's efforts to freeze immigration by refugees and citizens of some predominantly Muslim nations.

It applies both to the ban on entry and visa issuance to nationals of the six designated countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen), and to the suspension of admission of refugees.

Mr Trump insists the move is to stop terrorists from entering the United States but critics say it is discriminatory.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a media briefing the government would "vigorously defend this executive order" and appeal against the "flawed rulings". He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement.

"We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court", he says, referring to Judge Theodore D. Chuang's decision to grant the preliminary injunction.

The revised order also does not indefinitely bar Syrian refugees from entering the US. "This order doesn't draw any religious distinction at all". A three-judge panel found that executive order violated the due process rights of people who had previously been approved to visit the United States.

Speaking at a rally in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday evening, Mr Trump said the ruling in Hawaii was "flawed" and a case of "unprecedented judicial overreach".

But District Judge Derrick Watson rejected the idea that the order was not a Muslim ban, ruling it was plausible "to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam", given their Muslim populations all topped 90 percent.


Chuang wrote that he "should not, and will not, second-guess the conclusion that national security interests would be served by the travel ban", but if the national security rationale was secondary to an attempt to disfavor a particular religion, he had no choice but to block the executive order. He then made plain his opposition to Islam in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper a year ago, asserting: "I think Islam hates us".

"A reasonable, objective observer - enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance - would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a goal to disfavor a particular religion", the judge wrote.

He said the plan was to appeal at the 4th Circuit in Richmond first and then seek clarification of Hawaii's ruling before appealing to the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Trump has vowed to take the fight all the way to US Supreme Court.

"We're going to win". In a dissent, five judges said they considered that decision incorrect and wanted it vacated.

The ruling in Maryland and another in Hawaii earlier this week were victories for civil liberties groups and advocates for immigrants and refugees.

It was the latest ruling against Trump's revised travel ban.

Cornell University Law School professor Stephen Yale-Loehr warned Trump against a protracted battle. Almost two months into this administration you'd think there would be something on the drawing boards other than the blunt instrument of the much-disputed "ban".

In Seattle, Washington state s attorney general filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order that would last up to 14 days in order to halt the travel restrictions, also citing "irreparable injuries".

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