Trump appeals Hawaii judge’s new ruling blocking travel ban
Published 9:25 am Friday, March 31, 2017
HONOLULU — President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday appealed the latest court ruling against his revised travel ban to the same court that refused to reinstate the original version.
A day earlier, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii handed the government its latest defeat by issuing a longer-lasting hold on Trump’s executive order.
Watson’s decision came after the Department of Justice argued for a narrower ruling covering only the ban on new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. The department urged the judge to allow a freeze on the U.S. refugee program to go forward.
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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 disagreed.
The administration says the executive order falls within the president’s power to protect national security and will ultimately succeed, while Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin likened the revised ban to a neon sign flashing “Muslim ban” that the government hasn’t turned off.
Here’s a look at Watson’s ruling and what comes next:
Watson said Hawaii has shown that the ban will harm the state’s universities and tourism industry as well as the imam of a Honolulu mosque, who joined the lawsuit. Ismail Elshikh said the ban would prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting family in the U.S.
“These injuries have already occurred and will continue to occur if the executive order is implemented and enforced; the injuries are neither contingent nor speculative,” the judge wrote.
Chin told The Associated Press on Thursday that a notable part of the ruling was that the court took into account 20 to 25 statements made by Trump as a candidate and as president and by his surrogates.
“The court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has,” Watson wrote.
The Department of Justice said it strongly disagrees with the ruling.
What’s next for Hawaii’s lawsuit?
Government attorneys filed documents appealing Watson’s decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a move Chin said he expected.
The judge said his ruling will stay in place until he orders otherwise and won’t be suspended for an appeal.
The administration said in court documents that the appeal also applies to Watson’s previous temporary block of the travel ban.
“The president’s executive order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our nation’s security, and the department will continue to defend this executive order in the courts,” the Justice Department said in a statement.