Judge in Hawaii blocks latest version of Trump’s travel ban

HONOLULU — A federal judge in Hawaii blocked most of President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban Tuesday, just hours before it was set to take effect, saying the revised order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.”

It was the third set of travel restrictions issued by the president to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued the ruling after the ban on a set of mostly Muslim countries was challenged by the state of Hawaii, which warned that the restrictions would separate families and undermine the recruiting of diverse college students.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the ruling “dangerously flawed” and said it “undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe.” The Justice Department said it will quickly appeal.

At issue was a ban, announced in September and set to go into effect early Wednesday, on travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with some Venezuelan government officials and their families.

The Trump administration said the ban was based on an assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S.

Watson, appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling against Trump’s previous ban.

The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to … the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote.

The judge’s ruling applies only to the six Muslim-majority countries on the list. It does not affect the restrictions against North Korea or Venezuela, because the state of Hawaii did not ask for that.

“This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion,” Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said in a statement. “Today is another victory for the rule of law.”

Hawaii argued the updated ban was a continuation of Trump’s campaign call for a ban on Muslims, despite the addition to the list of two countries without a Muslim majority.

Watson noted that Hawaii argues Trump hasn’t backed down on calls for a ban on Muslim immigration. Watson cited Trump’s series of June tweets “in which (Trump) complained about how the Justice Department had submitted a ‘watered down, politically correct version’ to the Supreme Court.”

Other courts that weighed the travel ban have cited Trump’s comments about banning Muslims from entering the United States.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said a previous version of the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump’s campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

In Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang called Trump’s own statements about barring Muslims from entering the United States “highly relevant.”

In his previous ruling, Watson wrote, referring to a statement Trump issued as a candidate, “For instance, 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.’

Watson’s ruling Tuesday said the new ban, like its predecessor, fails to show that nationality alone makes a person a greater security risk to the U.S.

“The categorical restrictions on entire populations of men, women and children, based upon nationality, are a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of ‘public-safety and terrorism-related information’ that the president identifies,” Watson said.

He also said the ban is inconsistent in the way some countries are included or left out. For example, Iraq failed to meet the security benchmark but was omitted from the ban. Somalia met the information-sharing benchmark but was included.

Donald Trumptravel ban

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pleasant start to autumn

Above average temperature for the week

Horgan meets Lt.-Gov. amid B.C. election speculation

VICTORIA — B.C. Premier John Horgan is meeting with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin… Continue reading

An attempted murder charge against an O’Chiese man was dropped by a Red Deer court

Quentin Stawberry pleaded guilty to two other, lesser charges

Five students at University of Alberta residence test positive for COVID-19

The university is shutting down in-person varsity athletics for the next two weeks

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Pandemic means premiers are no longer in limelight

The ‘resistance’ isn’t exactly futile, but it isn’t Trudeau’s biggest problem any more

Reg Warkentin: Our schools deserve top marks

The education and development of our kids is the most important asset our province has

Chase Claypool sets Canadian NFL record with 84-yard touchdown reception

Longest touch down from scrimmage in league history by a Canadian-born player

Shapovalov loses to Schwartzman in Italian Open semifinals

Schwartzman will play world No. 1 Novak Djokovic

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

First time Canadian show wins Emmy for best comedy series

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

The 2020 Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., will be held as a special hybrid event

New tools, ideas needed to speed up housing strategy funding, CMHC president says

Slow turnaround time on some of its national housing strategy programs

Most Read