Trump travel ban again halted by judge in Hawaii

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

A day before President Donald Trump latest travel ban was supposed to be instituted a federal judge in Hawaii granted a temporary restraining order against the ban. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted a full nationwide restraining order against the president’s ban on Wednesday evening, March 15, 2017. The decision in Hawaii was the first legal decision against the revised order, which the President signed on March 6. Judge Watson based his decision on the ban discriminating against religion and that it would harmfully affect Hawaii’s tourism industry.

Watson used Trump’s campaign rhetoric and claims of wanting to conduct a Muslim Ban as the basis of his reasoning. Watson concluded the president’s ban was religious discrimination. The Judge agreed with the State of Hawaii argument. The state’s lawyers claimed, ” The March 6, 2017, Executive Order was motivated by animus and a desire to discriminate by religion and/or national origin, nationality, or alienage.” In the end, the judge found, “The Court declines to stay this ruling or hold it in abeyance should an emergency appeal of this order be filed.”

Judge Watson wrote in his opinion, “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 purpose.” Continuing the federal judge wrote, “Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude…that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, ‘secondary to a religious objective’ of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims.”

President Trump was holding a rally in Nashville, Tennessee when he heard about the court’s decision. Trump immediately rebuked the decision calling it “an unprecedented judicial overreach.” The president commented, “The order… blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with. This ruling makes us look weak.”

The administration had argued that the president’s comments as a candidate were “irrelevant.” They claimed Hawaii was trying to “to impugn the order using campaign statements.” The administration’s attorney also accused the plaintiffs of looking for “secret motives” beyond the stated reason for the order.

Source: ABC News Radio Online

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