Federal judge challenges Trump travel ban

US 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. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland wrote that the administration had "not shown that national security can not be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban".

Watson issued a temporary restraining order stopping enforcement of the third revision of the travel ban which still includes six Muslim-majority countries in its prohibitions. Rather the bans on both those countries will affect relatively tiny groups compared to the banned Muslim-majority nations.

Judge Derrick Watson said the ban, announced by the president on September 24, "suffers from the same maladies" as the earlier travel executive order that the judge also tried to block.

The decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii is sure to be appealed, but for now, it means that the administration can not restrict the entry of travelers from six of the eight countries that officials said were either unable or unwilling to provide information that the United States wanted to vet their citizens.

The White House called Watson's decision "dangerously flawed".

Watson granted the state of Hawaii's request to temporarily block the Trump administration from enforcing the policy.

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The latest ban was announced last month as cases challenging the previous version awaited action at the Supreme Court. Unlike the Hawaii ruling, however, the decision by the Maryland judge is limited to individuals without bona fide connection to the United States.

Hawaii argues the updated ban is a continuation of President Donald Trump's "promise to exclude Muslims from the United States". He said, "Professional athletes mirror the federal government in this respect: they operate within a set of rules, and when one among them forsakes those rules in favor of his own, problems ensue". It prohibits the administration from enforcing the ban against people who can not prove they have a "bona fide" - or good faith - relationship with USA persons or entities, such as businesses or universities.

The two appeals courts that halted parts of the second ban focused on comments by Trump and his surrogates during last year's campaign.

As we have explained, this new ban suffers from the same fundamental flaws as the earlier versions, which were issued in January and March. The courts have previously examined his campaign statements calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.as evidence that his travel ban was created to discriminate against Muslims rather than protect the nation. The travel ban targeted eight countries, all in varying states of civil war or dysfunction - in which no central authority exists to help the USA vet incoming so-called, "refugees" (terrorists).

Noting that the third version is "permanent", unlike the earlier tentative versions, the judge said that feature was actually forecast at the time two prior versions were issued.

Both judges did find that the challengers to the third order were likely to win their claim that the third version exceeded presidential power under federal immigration laws. Indeed, such was Trump's brusque impassivity to the wording of the proposals that, asked by CBS News's Lesley Stahl if there would be a Muslim ban in a post-election interview, he responded: "Call it whatever you want".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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