Two US judges block Donald Trump's revised travel ban

Cheryl Sanders
March 17, 2017

Federal judge ruled that Ismail had reasonable grounds to challenge the order as religious discrimination and concluded that allowing the travel restrictions to go into effect as scheduled, could have caused them irreparable harm.

The two rulings - announced on Wednesday night and Thursday morning - came just hours before Trump's revised executive order was to take effect, and over a month after a federal appeals court struck down the administration's original order.

The most recent travel related executive order, issued by the president March 6, barred visas to nationals of the six countries for 90 days and all refugee admissions for 120 days beginning Thursday, with the government citing "national security" concerns.

The White House says the order is necessary to give the government time to develop extreme vetting procedures for people from six terror-prone countries and prevent terrorists from infiltrating the USA through the legal immigration system or the refugee program.

The decision to halt the second executive order before it could take effect yesterday (US local time) will nearly certainly be appealed - first to the same San Francisco appellate court that rejected the initial ban and then to the Supreme Court. Earlier, a different federal judge in Hawaii stopped it. The new order omits Iraq, which was on the original list, as well as leaving out language granting entry preference for religious minorities, which opponents said was aimed at Christians and was evidence of an attempt to ban Muslims.

It's going to be much harder to make that argument when there's a quote, in the public record, from someone claiming to have been involved in developing the policy, all but saying that the intention of it was to ban Muslims - but in a way they could sneak past a judge.
"There is nothing "veiled" about this press release: 'Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, '" the judge wrote.

There was a big setback for President Trump's new travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries. "As we saw with the first Muslim Ban, massive protests and community pressure made the wins in the court possible".

Robart issued the original restraining order blocking enforcement of Trump's January 27 travel ban order nationwide.

US President Donald Trump has said he would take the case to the Supreme Court if neccessary. "The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear".

The updated executive order bans citizens from six Muslim-majority countries - down by one from the first version.

"The history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the objective of the Second Executive Order remains the realisation of the long-envisioned Muslim ban", the Maryland judge wrote, according to the Washington Post.

Still, the ruling is only temporary and the dispute could drag on in court before a trial on the constitutionality of the travel ban takes place, said Mr Stephen Wasby, a legal scholar at the State University of NY in Albany.

"The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and that should never have been blocked to start with".

The department has given little indication of how it will defend Trump's revised ban.

They said the ban was ordered in the interest of national security to protect the US from "radical Islamic terrorism".

Other reports by iNewsToday