Trump's travel ban isn't getting out of legal limbo anytime soon


Judge Watson made the ruling late on Wednesday after hearing arguments from attorneys for the state of Hawaii and the US Department of Justice. With a preliminary injunction in place, people in Hawaii with family in the six affected Muslim-majority countries - as well as Hawaii students, travelers, and refugees across the world - face less uncertainty.

Pres. Trump's travel ban has been put on hold once again, thanks to a ruling last night that changed the temporary restraining order into a more final preliminary injunction. He likened it to a neon sign flashing "Muslim Ban", which the government hasn't turned off.

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

This month, Watson prevented the federal government from suspending new visas for people from six countries and freezing the nation's refugee program.

But Wednesday's ruling was just such a smackdown.

The president called Watson's initial ruling an "unprecedented judicial overreach" during a rally in Nashville, and said it made the country look weak.

Like Chuang, Watson, in his March 15 ruling, also preferred to judge not what the executive order says, but what he believes it means "in context".

The appeal will go to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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In a lawsuit, the USA state says the ban would harm tourism and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.

Given that, and given that the travel ban remains on hold pending the appeal, I think it's a rather frank admission by the court of appeals that, regardless of how it comes out, this case is a pretty big deal - and ought to be treated as such.

On Wednesday, Judge Derrick Watson indefinitely extended the travel ban, citing the Establishment Clause, and ruling that "irreparable injury is likely" if the ban were to be implemented.

Watson also refused to narrow his ruling to only apply to the six-nation ban, as the government requested. He said he would issue a written ruling by day's end. Enforcement of both provisions of the ban is prohibited nationwide until he orders otherwise.

"The next move is theirs", Chin said of the Department of Justice. The federal appeals panel that blocked the first order said that "evidence of goal beyond the face of the challenged law" can be used to determine its lawfulness.

According to the LA Times, in his opening arguments, Hawaii Attorney General, Doug Chin, stated that "We do not fault the President for being politically incorrect".

Judge Watson ruled that the state of Hawaii and the imam of a mosque had shown "a strong likelihood" that, when their case reaches a final point, the Trump order will be declared to be an unconstitutional form of discrimination against Muslims based on their religion.

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