Welp, another travel ban bites the dust. A federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday night blocked President Trump’s ban on travel from six majority Muslim countries nationwide, dealing yet another blow to a White House that hasn’t had a week without controversy since Trump’s inauguration.
After a federal court in Seattle struck down Trump’s first executive order which restricted travel from seven majority Muslim countries, Trump issued a revised and more narrow travel ban on March 6—one which was supposed to be able to pre-empt new lawsuits. But alas, soon after the new executive order was issued, several states—including Hawaii—brought lawsuits against the government.
The New York Times reports administration lawyers argued in multiple courts on Wednesday that the president was merely exercising his national security powers and that no element of the executive order could be construed as a religious test for travelers.
However, Federal Judge Derrick K. Watson disagreed, although the new version dropped certain original provisions including exempting certain groups from the ban like green card and visa holders, and dropped the section that would have given Christians special treatment. It also removed Iraq from the list of countries covered by the ban.
In essence, critics of the ban see it as discriminating against Muslims, hence why some call it a “Muslim ban” saying it imposes a de facto religious test on travelers from large swaths of the Middle East and Africa.
President Trump lashed out the last time his proposed travel ban was struck down, tweeting that the presiding jurist was a “so-called judge” and promising his decision would be overturned.
SOURCE: New York Times