Hawaii Federal Judge Blocks New Travel Ban


U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson has issued a temporary restraining order on President Trump's new travel ban, scheduled to take effect at 12:01 am EST tomorrow. Judge Watson's order prohibits the federal government from implementing Sections 2 and 6 of the President's March 6th Executive Order. Section 2 prohibited travel from six designated countries, while Section 6 suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

In issuing the temporary restraining order, Judge Watson found that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their case and would likely suffer irreparable harm if the Executive Order took effect. In doing so, he rejected the government's argument that the President's Executive Order did not discriminate against Muslims. Specifically, he rejected the government's contention that the Executive Order was not discriminatory because it did not apply exclusively to Muslims. "The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed. The Court declines to relegate its Establishment Clause analysis to a purely mathematical exercise." Judge Watson further noted, "The record before this Court is unique. It includes significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation of the Executive Order and its related predecessor."

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