A look at latest ruling on Trump administration travel ban

A USA federal judge in Hawaii has indefinitely extended a court order blocking the enforcement of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

Government attorney Chad Readler said halting the flow of refugees had no effect on Hawaii and the state has not shown how it is harmed by the ban. Watson also pointed to Trump's own words as evidence that the administration was seeking to discriminate against a group of people based on their religion - two weeks ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, he called the second travel ban "a watered-down version of the first one". District Judge Derrick Watson heard arguments from the state attorney general and Department of Justice (DoJ) before making his decision. Watson rejected the administration's argument that a freeze on the federal refugee program would not impact on tourism or education in Hawaii.

Watson noted that the government said 20 refugees were resettled in Hawaii since 2010.

Watson's ruling is an affirmation of America's value of religious freedom and allows Muslims and refugees to face less uncertainty, the state attorney general's office said in a statement.

The government attorney replied that 20 is simply a small number of refugees.

"In whose judgment?" Watson asked.

"We can not fault the president for being politically incorrect, but we do fault him for being constitutionally incorrect", Chin said.

That made Watson's ruling the prevailing block to Trump's plans, but one only created to last for about two weeks.

Readler focused his argument largely on Hawaii's standing to sue, saying that the state can point to no specific injury for a broader ruling.

"The court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has", Watson wrote Wednesday.

As the Two-Way has reported, the president sought to deny entry to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and suspend the US refugee program for 120 days.

Justice Derrick Watson's ruling means the executive order restricting travel from six mainly-Muslim countries must be put on hold while it is contested in court. His ruling came just hours before the federal government planned to start enforcing Trump's executive order. If the court sides with the federal government, it would not have a direct effect on the Hawaii ruling, legal experts said.

Following Watson's ruling, the Justice Department can now appeal the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Trump also said during that Nashville rally that he would "fight this bad ruling" to the Supreme Court.

Trump's travel order is now blocked indefinitely unless the lawsuit against the ban is resolved or a higher court changes Watson's order.

  • Larry Hoffman