A few days prior to Hawaii U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson’s ruling to block the Trump administration’s travel ban, former President Barack Obama visited the island of Oahu.
Judge Watson, who was appointed under the Obama administration, just happened to be one of former President Obama’s Harvard classmates.
The ruling was issued on Wednesday, 15 March. The judge used President Donald Trump’s statements during his campaign to make the case that President Trump’s executive order was a violation of the law. This ruling is controversial, as both executive orders were implemented in compliance with the authority given to the president by the constitution.
During his stay on the island, the former president enjoyed a few rounds of golf and met with tech executives. It is unknown whether or not Mr. Obama met with Judge Watson, though some have speculated that the former president had a role in influencing the ruling. Reddit users pointed out that Mr. Obama dined at Noi Thai restaurant near the courthouse where the ruling was made.
The timing of the former president’s impromptu vacation could easily be a coincidence. However, there are some who may find it suspicious — especially as there are many who believe that Obama appointees still serving in the White House are responsible for the many leaks in the Trump administration.
Regardless of whether the former president had something to do with Judge Watson’s ruling, the battle over the travel ban is far from over. The Trump administration has stated that they plan to appeal the ruling that placed a temporary hold on the executive order. CNN reported:
White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Thursday that the Trump administration plans to appeal rulings from two federal judges that have temporarily blocked the revised travel ban.
The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the federal district court’s ruling, which is flawed both in reasoning and in scope. The President’s Executive Order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our Nation’s security, and the Department will continue to defend this Executive Order in the courts,” DOJ said in a statement Wednesday night.
The travel ban remains a source of contention. While the ban is constitutional, activist judges seem intent on opposing any iteration of the executive order. If the appeal does not work out in the Trump administration’s favor, the case could be decided in the Supreme Court. Needless to say, President Trump has a long battle ahead of him.