Hawaii Federal Judge Extends Block On Trump Travel Ban


More than 40 former advisers on national security to presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush filed a brief on Friday in that appeal case arguing against the travel ban.

The Donald Trump administration on Thursday appealed the ruling of a United States federal judge in Hawaii who had a day prior maintained his freeze on the president's revised restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries.

The history of the revised executive order is "full of religious animus, invective and obvious pretext", Watson said in a ruling Wednesday that transformed his previous temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction, blocking Trump's order indefinitely. Enforcement of both provisions of the ban is prohibited nationwide until he orders otherwise.

"It's going to be quite important as to the scope of presidential power over immigration", Heinke said.

Watson wrote that he won't suspend his ruling if the government appeals.

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The imam of a Honolulu mosque joined the challenge, arguing that the ban would prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting family in Hawaii.

Watson says he won't suspend his ruling if the government appeals. Trump placed a 90-day ban on foreign nationals entering the USA from six Muslim-majority countries.

Other courts around the country have issued different rulings on Trump's revised ban, with a Maryland judge halting a portion of the ban on March 16 and a Virginia judge giving the Trump administration a victory by upholding the ban last week.

The Justice Department on Thursday filed its notice of appeal to the freeze on President Trump's revised travel ban imposed by a federal judge in Hawaii.

Trump's administration said in a court filing that it will send the ruling up to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, setting the stage for a second showdown in that higher court between the president and the judiciary over a controversial executive order that has divided the nation. Following Watson's latest ruling, the Justice Department may now immediately appeal his ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers the Western states.

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Trump has vowed to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is now split 4-4 between liberals and conservatives with the president's pick - appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch - still awaiting confirmation.

The Trump administration's wide-ranging initial travel restrictions imposed on January 27 were slapped down by federal courts, after sparking global protests and chaos at U.S. airports.

The Justice Department said Thursday morning it will continue to defend the executive order.

The appeals court said it does not yet know which month's panel will hear the case since the arguments have not been filed yet and the month is almost over.

Legal experts say it's unlikely Watson would side with the Trump administration. Whatever the outcomes of those appeals, it's likely that this will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court in the end.

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