Trump files notice of appeal on Maryland ruling on travel ban

The cases are State of Hawaii v. Trump, 17-cv-00050, US District Court, District of Hawaii (Honolulu), and International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, 17-0361, US District Court of Maryland. The Hawaii case, brought by Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, would head to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit - where a panel of judges already ruled once against the original executive order.

In a closely argued opinion U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson found the a "strong likelihood of success" that the new ban was unconstitutional, preventing it from going into effect.

Speaking Wednesday evening at a rally in Nashville, Tennessee, Trump called the ruling in Hawaii an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach" and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order's stated secular goal", Watson wrote.

Global bookings to the US since the first travel ban was announced had dropped by 6.5 percent, according to travel monitoring platform ForwardKeys.

Two USfederal courts blocked President Donald Trump's second and toned-down executive order temporarily suspending travel from six-Muslim majority countries and the entry of all refugees, saying it could be seen to "disfavour a certain religion".

The travel ban "bears no resemblance" to any other government response to a national security risk. If the Supreme Court also believes the comments should be considered, Trump should expect the outcome to be the same as from the lower courts.

Chuang ruled that the agencies were likely to succeed in proving that the travel ban portion of the executive order was meant to be a ban on Muslims and, as a result, violates the U.S. Constitution's religious freedom protection.

The Washington Post published a story Monday outlining the Trump administration's case that the new version of the travel ban avoided problems inherent in the previous version. The first version of the ban sparked protests around numerous nation's airports, with demonstrators describing it as a "Muslim ban" based on Trump's campaign promise to "ban all Muslims" from the United States.

The Department of Justice called the ruling "flawed both in reasoning and in scope", adding that the president has broad authority in national security matters. He told a crowd of supporters: "We're going to fight this awful rule, we're going to take this case as far as it will go, including the supreme court". Because both the Hawaii and Maryland judges blocked the revised travel ban nationwide, the government would have to overturn both before the full order can take effect.

The judge discounted that the revised ban removed exceptions for Christians in the six countries listed.

Trump's revised ban applies to Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen and temporarily shuts down the USA refugee program.

If more judges side with Watson, the government's case may be harder to make at higher courts. Critics of the ban argued it was discriminatory against Muslims. For those who don't remember, three judges of the Ninth Circuit had upheld the restraining order on the first travel ban that was issued by a Washington judge.

"President Trump's Muslim ban has fared miserably in the courts, and for good reason - it violates fundamental provisions of our constitution", said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

  • Leroy Wright