Federal judge blocks new Trump travel ban

In a decision published Thursday morning, US District Court Judge Theodore Chuang imposed a nationwide halt to the portion of the President's executive order that barred foreign nationals from six majority-Muslim nations from entering the country.

The first version of the ban, temporarily suspending the US refugee program and barring entry into the USA from residents of seven majority-Muslim countries, was quickly blocked by a federal judge in Washington state.

These rulings, like the earlier Ninth Circuit decision, miss a crucial fact, the dissenters said: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly on this exact question and found that courts can not look behind the "bona fide" reasons for an executive order on immigration to find constitutional violations lurking in the background.

Trump called the ruling an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach" and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judges have said they are willing to look behind the text of the order, which does not mention Islam, to probe the motivation for enacting the ban, said Frahn.

Shaw's comprehensive analysis persuades me that the judges in the current Muslim-ban cases engaged in a pretty dubious practice by using Trump's campaign utterances against him.

The U.S. Supreme Court is now split 4-4 between liberals and conservatives with Trump's pick for the high court - appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch - still awaiting confirmation.

Chuang's decision applies only to the section of the order that prevents visas from being issued to citizens of the six Muslim-majority countries.

That new executive order was also swiftly challenged in court.

"Historically, Americans have been skeptical about accepting refugees", Bowman said.

But the ACLU and other lawyers said the list of potential harms is long. The result was chaos at the country's airports and a flurry of lawsuits challenging the executive order.

The Washington court blocked an earlier version of the Trump travel order issued in January. The amended order removed Iraq from the ban and allows people with visas and green cards from the affected countries.

Opponents of the ban argue that the scaled-back executive order is simply the same "Muslim ban" that Trump promised on the campaign trail ― just repackaged to pass constitutional scrutiny. The Department of Homeland Security said on its website that the six nations have been identified as "countries of concern due to the national security risks associated with their instability and the prevalence of terrorist fighters in their territories".

He also pointed to "questionable evidence supporting the government's national security motivation".

Particularly disingenuous was Watson's statement, on Page 36, that "any reasonable, objective observer would conclude. that the stated secular goal of the Executive Order is, at the very least, "secondary to a religious objective" of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims". While he acknowledged the order did "not facially discriminate for or against any particular religion", he insists on looking at the "historical background"-i.e. Trump's statements-which he deemed to be discriminatory and how the order will effectively limit Muslim immigrants".

Fresco said the District Court's decision Wednesday did not address that authority, and that the courts could provide "much needed guidance" for the Trump administration, and for future presidents as well.

  • Leroy Wright