Judge blocks Trump’s new travel ban

Judge blocks Trump’s new travel ban March 16, 2017

Derrick_K._WatsonPresident Trump’s new travel ban, revised to eliminate the legal difficulties that a judge found in his first order, has also been thrown out by a federal judge.

A Hawaii federal court blocked the ban, which was to go in effect today.

The judge said that Trump’s campaign comments about Muslims show that the restrictions on travel or immigration from six terrorist-infected countries have the true purpose of discriminating against a religion.

But if the target is Muslims, why aren’t Muslims from the rest of the world blocked?  Why just those six countries?

It seems strange to me that a judge insists on interpreting a policy according to  campaign rhetoric.  This, even after the policy was revised to remove the apparent connection.  What if the president had a complete change of heart about things he said in the heat of the campaign?  Would his policies still be interpreted according to what he said back then?  I just don’t understand how legally the effusions of a campaign speech can have the force of law in determining the meaning of a statute.

Photo of Judge Derrick K. Watson, by United States District Court for the District of Hawaii [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From Trump’s revised travel ban blocked by federal judge in Hawaii – Washington Times:

A federal judge in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order to block President Trump’s revised executive order on travel and refugees from taking effect Thursday – a stunning blow for the administration.

Wednesday’s ruling marks the second time a federal judge has blocked nationwide enforcement of Mr. Trump’s temporary travel ban. Trump administration officials had gone back to the drawing board to rewrite parts of the original order after a Seattle-based federal judge put the order on hold after opponents raised constitutional concerns about the order and likened it to a Muslim ban.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson came in the nick of time for immigrant and refugee advocacy groups who hoped to stop the revised order from taking effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. In his 43-page written order, Judge Watson called the administration’s arguments illogical and flawed. Citing prior comments Mr. Trump made as a candidate about his desire to curb immigration of foreign nationals who are Muslim, Judge Watson said “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus” was behind both the original and revised versions of the executive order.

“These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” Judge Watson said.

Judge Watson wrote that the plaintiffs in the case, the Hawaii attorney general and resident Ismail Elshikh have “shown a strong likelihood of succeeding on their claim that the Executive Order violates First Amendment rights under the Constitution.”

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