Hawaii Judge Extends Travel Ban Block By Issuing Preliminary Injunction

On Wednesday Watson extended his order blocking the travel ban.

The Department of Justice has appealed a Hawaii court order that brought President Donald Trump's travel ban to a national halt.

But Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin said language in the revised ban is like a "neon sign flashing 'Muslim Ban, Muslim Ban.'" And Chin says no one in the government has bothered to turn it off.

The Ninth Circuit Court will toss Wednesday's decision by a federal judge extending the order that blocks President Donald Trump's travel ban, Larry Klayman, founder of government watchdog group Freedom Watch, told Newsmax TV.

Judge Watson made the ruling late on Wednesday after hearing arguments from attorneys for the state of Hawaii and the US Department of Justice.

The Trump administration's wide-ranging initial travel restrictions imposed on January 27 were slapped down by federal courts, after sparking worldwide protests and chaos at USA airports.

Two weeks ago, US District Court Judge Derrick Watson blocked the executive order on the grounds that it likely violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution by disfavoring Muslims. The decision to implement the injunction was handed down by the same Hawaii judge whose original travel ban block was criticized by the White House earlier in March.

Hawaii's Department of the Attorney General expressed confidence that higher courts will continue to side with its position.

The 9th Circuit has not been friendly to the Trump DOJ arguments on the first travel ban, Reid reports.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson noted earlier that the government only argued for a narrower interpretation after a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland was limited to the ban on new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. That increases the likelihood that one of the cases will make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Trump administration has asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to put that ruling on hold as it considers the case, reported the Associated Press.

While Trump's lawyers claim the executive order does not discriminate based on religion, previous courts ruled against the order noting the president and his surrogates' repeated public promises to impose "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

"What a ruling in 4th Circuit in favor of the administration would do is create a split in authority between federal courts in different parts of the country", he said.

The March 6 executive order was a revision of an earlier January 27 executive order banning entry to the United States from seven nations.

The court rulings raise an interesting question: If courts believe Trump's words show bias against Muslims, is it even possible for the president to issue an order on immigration affecting majority-Muslim countries without the taint of illegal discrimination?

  • Salvatore Jensen