Sunday, 19 March 2017

Trump's 'Muslim Ban' Mk2 also falls at first judicial hurdle

Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Minnesota and Maryland joined with the State of Washington in seeking to restrain U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order of 6 March 2017 which revised his earlier order of  February 2017.

Along with Hawaii in separate litigation that makes seven states opposing what is colloquially known as Trump’s Muslim Ban.

AP News, 16 March 2017:

HONOLULU (AP) — Hours before it was to take effect, President Donald Trump's revised travel ban was put on hold Wednesday by a federal judge in Hawaii who questioned whether the administration was motivated by national security concerns.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order blocked the flow of students and tourists to the state, and he concluded that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination.

"The illogic of the government's contentions is palpable," Watson wrote. "The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed."…..

The judge issued his 43-page ruling less than two hours after hearing Hawaii's request for a temporary restraining order to stop the ban from being put into practice.

The ruling came as opponents renewed their legal challenges across the country, asking judges in three states to block the executive order that targets people from six predominantly Muslim countries. Federal courts in Maryland, Washington state and Hawaii heard arguments Wednesday about whether it should be allowed to take effect early Thursday as scheduled.

In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban.

Watson made it clear that his decision applied nationwide, ruling that the ban could not be enforced at any U.S. borders or ports of entry or in the issuance of visas…..

Court transcript of the temporary restraining order granted can be found here.

Seattle Times, 15 March 2017:

A Seattle federal judge who ruled against President Donald Trump’s first immigrant travel ban has taken another challenge to the president’s revised order under advisement, this one filed by the families of immigrants that have been separated because of the policy.

U.S. District Judge James Robart remained skeptical of the government’s continued claims that the president can bar people from immigrating because of their nationality. Attorneys for the families argued that statutes governing the issuance of immigrant visas specifically prohibit such discrimination.

Robart heard nearly 90 minutes of arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging the travel order filed by several legal immigrants who are separated from their families and who fear the new order will prolong that separation. Their family members all are in various stages of attempting to obtain visas to enter the U.S.

The latest travel ban was set to go into effect at midnight Wednesday. However, a federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday put the revised travel ban on hold.

Matt Adams, the legal director for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which is spearheading the immigrant-family lawsuit, said the Hawaii order is a godsend for his clients, who will benefit from any delay in the order’s implementation.

Still, he said they will pursue a restraining order of their own.

Robart did not say when he would rule on the suit filed by several immigrants.

Daily Mail 14 March 2017:

Immigrant advocacy groups and the ACLU are suing in Maryland. They will ask a judge there early Wednesday to issue an injunction, saying it's illegal to reduce the number of refugees in the middle of a fiscal year. The lawsuit is broader, but the ACLU expects a ruling on that part of the case even if other aspects of the ban are blocked elsewhere.

The Baltimore Sun, 16 March 2017:

The Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang issued a ruling early Thursday, using Trump's own comments against him in deciding the ban was likely unconstitutional.

The Maryland ruling marks another win for challengers of the president's executive order, which had been slated to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Trump expressed his displeasure in a typically dishonest prepared political speech he read from two transparent autocues.

Full speech video at

The revised text of the travel ban:

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