A federal judge in Hawaii has issued a restraining order against enforcing key sections of President Donald Trump’s second stab at a travel ban, effectively blocking POTUS’ latest executive order on immigration hours before it was scheduled to take effect at 12:01 AM ET Thursday.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson said that portions of Trump’s order target Muslims, in violation of the Constitution — the same decision that thwarted Trump’s first iteration of the so-called travel ban. Watson’s decision effectively blocks Trump’s executive order from going into effect nationwide. Two more peer judges, in Maryland and in Washington state, are expected to rule on what’s being called Travel Ban 2.0 by end of day today. The Trump administration had argued that 2.0 did not target a religion because the six countries pinpointed account for such a small percent of the Muslim population worldwide, Politico reported.
The judge’s decision specifically blocked the order’s Section 2, which was the 90-day ban on immigration from six Muslim-majority countries — down from the first order’s seven, with Iraq now deleted — as well as Section 6, aka the 120-day ban on refugees coming to the United States.
TV News reporters traveling with Trump to Nashville this evening reported the ruling took his team by surprise, given the work they had done to remedy the problems the court had outlined last time. Specifically, Team Trump exempted green card holders and valid visa holders and god rid of the provision in the original executive order that prioritized certain religious minorities.
Presumably this decision now will go before 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – the same court that, in February had unanimously ruled to keep Trump’s first travel ban halted. Last time it took about two days after hearing arguments from lawyers for the federal government and in Washington state on whether to reinstate before a trio of judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made their ruling against Trump.
Hollywood generally cheered that ruling, and Twitter was alive again tonight in response to the new one:https://twitter.com/kumailn/status/842150363977404417