Two federal judges separately ruled the latest Trump travel ban illegal this week. This most recent effort by the Trump administration to control who enters the United States was struck down by Obama appointees in Federal District Courts in Maryland and Hawaii.
Judge Derrick K. Watson of Hawaii came first. In the temporary restraining order he signed, he found that the latest administration order, called EO-3 in the opinion, “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the Ninth Circuit has found antithetical to both Section 1152(a) and the founding principles of this Nation.” The section referred to is the U.S. code part that prohibits discrimination against, or preference for a person based on national origin, in the issuance of an immigrant visa.
The lead plaintiff was the State of Hawaii, represented by Democrat Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin. Judge Watson said the plaintiffs met the burden needed to show that they would be irreparably harmed if the executive order were allowed to stand, that money damages would not be sufficient to repair the harm suffered, and that they had a decent chance to prevail in a full trial. Therefore, he ruled the issuance of an order barring implementation of the ban, unless and until further judicial action removed it, concerning all the countries covered except Venezuela and North Korea.
U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Maryland also ruled against the administration, but not as completely as Judge Watson. The Washington Post reports:
”Like Watson’s order, Chuang’s 91-page ruling also found Trump had exceeded his authority under immigration law, but only partially.
The order — which has “no specified end date and no requirement of renewal” — violated a nondiscrimination provision in the law in that it blocked immigrants to the United States based on their nationality, Chuang wrote.
But Chuang said he could not determine, as Watson did, that Trump had violated a different part of federal immigration law requiring him to find entry of certain non-immigrant travelers would be “detrimental” to U.S. interests before blocking them.”
Once again, a federal court has taken President Trumps ad-hoc statements made outside any formal capacity as evidence of impermissible intent regarding this executive order. Judge Chuang wrote of public comments made by Trump:
“Rather, they cast the Proclamation as the inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban, and… convey the message that the third iteration of the ban—no longer temporary—will be the “enhanced expression” of the earlier ones.
It’s up to the administration to appeal the case, and at this point, a ruling from the Supreme Court is all that will settle the matter. Just last week the Court dismissed the travel ban case it had agreed to hear:
“The justices, in a two-paragraph order, said the case was moot because the old six-country ban expired. It was replaced by a new, third version of the travel ban the president issued Sept. 24 that focuses on nationals from eight countries, including the non-Muslim majority nations of North Korea and Venezuela.
We will be following the case and report developments right here at Liberty Nation.