[JURIST] Two federal judges—one in Maryland on Thursday and another in Hawaii [official websites] on Wednesday—issued temporary restraining orders [Hawaii order, PDF; Maryland order] against President Donald Trump’s new 90-day travel ban [JURIST report]. Finding that the state had established a strong likelihood of success on the merits, Hawaii District Judge Derrick Watson issued an opinion permitting continued travel from six predominantly Muslim countries listed on Trump’s order. Trump responded to the order, calling it “the bad, sad news,” and “an unprecedented judicial overreach.” The new order, which dropped Iraq from the banned countries list, would have limited emigration from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days, and completely banned immigration of refugees for 120 days. In his stinging order, Watson stated,
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. Equally flawed is the notion that the Executive Order cannot be found to have targeted Islam because it applies to all individuals in the six referenced countries. It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%. It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam.
The Justice Department [official website] has vowed to fight for the ban, and Trump proposed the question go to the Supreme Court.
As with Trump’s last travel ban, the new immigration order has engendered significant courtroom drama. Earlier this week, Massachusetts, California [JURIST reports], Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington joined in a lawsuit [JURIST reports] opposing the ban. These lawsuits are premised on what JURIST guest columnist Jonathan Hafetz described as underlying racial discrimination [JURIST report] in the ban.