A federal judge in Hawaii has just issued a freezing on President Trump’s most recent travel ban that was set to go in affect at midnight. U.S. District Judge, Derrick K. Watson, froze the ban nation-wide after hearing testimony and argument against and for the ban.
Watson is the second of three judges that are hearing the arguments on the case, the first being a Maryland judge who will be ruling by days end, and the other being the judge who froze the first initial ban. That judge began hearing the arguments on the case at five eastern standard time.
The new ban, similar to the original, temporarily bars the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim majority countries and bars the admittance of any new refugees seeking asylum from the wars in other parts of the world. This ban, also like the other, is still being referred to as a Muslim ban and is facing scrutiny for, not only it’s racist undertones, but it’s unconstitutionality.
The ban would have suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, halt the visa program for those six countries for 90 days, and cut the refugee admittance by more than 50 percent, permanently. A portion of the freeze on the ban states:
“Because a reasonable, objective observer – enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance – would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously-neutral purpose, the Court finds that Plaintiffs, and Dr. Elshikh in particular, are likely to succeed on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim. The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”
The case in Hawaii originated from a lawsuit the state itself filed alleging that the ban violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Hawaii’s pool of lawyers state that since the ban is essentially a Muslim ban, it is damaging the state’s ability to recruit top talent and puts a severe cut in tourism, which is one of the main financial resources for the state.
Hawaii also makes reference to the case of Imam Ismail Elshikh whose mother-in-law was still waiting on the processing of her visa. Under the new ban, however, Imam’s mother would be banned from enter the United States. Colleen Roh Sinzdak, a lawyer at the hearing, stated:
“Dr. Elshikh certainly has standing in this case. He, along with all of the Muslim residents in Hawaii face higher hurdles to see family because of religious faith. It is not merely a harm to the Muslim residents of the state of Hawaii, but also is a harm to the United State as a whole and is against the First Amendment itself.”
This block is considered a temporary restraining order, TRO, and is not permanent. It will basically give both sides the time to gather evidence and bring their case to the court systems. The justice department, who had expressed that all legal issues that lead to the last freezing of the ban were resolved in this new one, will most likely come full steam ahead in attack against the TRO.
Judge cites Trump’s own comments in blocking his new immigration order, saying they “betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose” pic.twitter.com/IDv3Oe1KO7
— BNO News (@BNONews) March 15, 2017