Judge Theodore Chuang of the US District Court for the District of Maryland [official website] on Tuesday blocked [opinion] President Donald Trump’s latest version [text, PDF] of the travel ban [JURIST news archive], finding that the president’s purpose was to implement a ban against Muslims.
The proclamation, which was issued in September, bans travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela; six of which are majority-Muslim countries.
Chuang ultimately found the administration’s argument to be pretext:
Plaintiffs would likely face irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction and would plainly benefit from an injunction, Defendants are not directly harmed by a preliminary injunction preventing them from enforcing a Proclamation likely to be found unconstitutional. Defendants have not shown that national security cannot be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban. An injunction…would only preclude the use of a blanket ban. Even with an injunction, visa applicants from the Designated Countries would be screened…which the burden is on individual applicants to prove that they are not inadmissible to the United States. Thus,…the balance of the equities favor…an injunction.
The order will restrict the administration from enforcing the ban against those who can prove a “bona fide relationship with a person or organization within the US,” reiterating the words from the Supreme Court order [JURIST report] on an earlier version of the travel ban.
In Hawaii, another federal judge also blocked [JURIST report] the travel ban Tuesday, finding that it violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s prohibition [section 1152(a), text] on nationality-based discrimination.