White House slams decision to block travel ban

White House slams decision to block travel ban”

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while attending a "celebration of military mothers" at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 12, 2017.

It was the third set of travel restrictions issued by the president to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts.

Watson, a U.S. District judge appointed by former President Obama, also temporarily halted Trump's second travel ban. (A similar challenge to the travel ban is now being heard in a Maryland court.) Watson's 40-page order will have the effect of pausing the ban with respect to all of the specified countries, except North Korea and Venezuela.

A federal judge in Maryland added a new legal blockade to President Trump's travel ban early Wednesday, ruling that the White House's third attempt at "extreme vetting" is still poisoned by the president's campaign-season "religious animus" toward Muslims.

The judge in Hawaii, Derrick K. Watson, wrote that Trump's latest attempt at a travel ban "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor".

It was supposed to take effect early Wednesday. When Trump was a presidential candidate in December 2015, Chuang wrote, he had promised a "complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States", and all of his comments since then seemed to indicate his various travel bans were meant to fulfill that promise.

Each version of his travel ban has been an effort to do just that - to one degree or another.

The Trump administration's most recent restrictions affect citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen - and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. That ban is set to expire on October 24.

In the first opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the constitutionality of the Muslim ban, the nine Justices allowed the travel ban to go into effect for travelers who lacked a credible claim of a "bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States", and lifting the stay on the refugee ban entirely. But will it show its work?

Like yesterday's ruling against the travel ban by a federal district court in Hawaii, Judge Chuang also ruled that Travel Ban 3.0 violated the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which forbids discrimination in the issuance of immigration visas on the basis of nationality. Judge Watson then directs acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not to implement the ban. In many cases, Congressional members have not even issued a single public statement about the Muslim bans in the past ten months. (Chuang hasn't ruled yet, and even if he sides with the government, Watson's injunction will still apply until it's directly overturned by a higher court.) Watson, however, asked the Trump administration to show its work by giving him the DHS report. And it's not clear that judges in the rest of the country, and particularly at the Supreme Court, are going to agree with Judge Watson that the Trump administration's behavior is so inappropriate that it requires judges to evaluate whether a national security measure is justified by the facts - rather than to simply assume that the government acted in good faith. It was supposed to take effect at midnight EDT Wednesday.

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