Trump’s new travel ban also blocked
A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order on Wednesday evening blocking US President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam.
A second federal judge in Maryland ruled against Trump overnight, with a separate order forbidding the core provision of the travel ban from going into effect.
The rulings were a second major setback for Trump in his pursuit of a policy that he has trumpeted as critical for national security. His first attempt to sharply limit travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries ended in a courtroom fiasco last month, when a federal court in Seattle halted it. Trump issued a new and narrower travel ban, affecting six countries, on March 6, trying to satisfy the courts by removing some of the most contentious elements of the original version.
But in a pointed decision that repeatedly invoked Trump’s public comments, Judge Derrick K Watson of the district court in Honolulu, wrote that a “reasonable, objective observer” would view even the new order as “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose”.
In Maryland, judge Theodore D Chuang echoed that conclusion hours later, ruling in a case brought by non-profit group, that the likely purpose of the executive order was “the effectuation of the proposed Muslim ban” that Trump pledged to enact as a presidential candidate.
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