Hawaii federal court blocks revised travel ban nationwide; Trump vows to appeal
A Honolulu federal district court has granted the state of Hawaii’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, the BBC and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled (PDF) that the executive order was motivated by animus against Muslims, in violation of the First Amendment. Other courts had made similar rulings about the first ban, but the federal government had argued that the new order cured that defect by leaving out an exemption to the ban for religious minorities. The Department of Justice brief filed Monday had also noted that nothing in the order expressly calls for a religious test to enter the country.
The judge found that the president’s statements during his campaign suggested that dislike of Muslims was the motivation, and those statements could not be ignored. The statements included his promise of “extreme vetting” for Muslims and a statement in 2016 that “I think Islam hates us.”
The ruling also found that Hawaii’s economy would be hurt by the ban, including tourism—a major industry in the state—and its universities. Similar arguments about the ban’s effect on universities underlay rulings in the litigation against the original ban brought by the state of Washington.
The court will set an expedited hearing on whether to extend the restraining order.
Meanwhile, at a rally in Tennessee on Wednesday night, Trump said Watson demonstrated “unprecedented judicial overreach” and vowed to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We’re going to win,” Trump said. “We’re going to keep our citizens safe. The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear.”