Thursday, 30 March 2017

Hawaii judge refuses to overturn block on Trump travel ban

State attorney general says revised ban is ‘neon sign flashing: Muslim ban, Muslim ban’, as judge rules injunction on executive order must stay in place

A federal judge in Hawaii decided on Wednesday to extend his order blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Hawaii attorney general Douglas Chin: ‘We cannot fault the president for being politically incorrect, but we do fault him for being constitutionally incorrect.’

US district judge Derrick Watson issued the longer-lasting hold on the ban just hours after hearing arguments.

Hawaii says the policy discriminates against Muslims and hurts the state’s tourist-dependent economy. The implied message in the revised ban is like a “neon sign flashing ‘Muslim ban, Muslim ban’” that the government did not bother to turn off, state attorney general Douglas Chin told the judge.

Extending the temporary restraining order until the state’s lawsuit was resolved would ensure the constitutional rights of Muslim citizens across the US were protected after the “repeated stops and starts of the last two months”, the state said.

The government said the ban fell within the president’s power to protect national security. Hawaii had made only generalised concerns about its effect on students and tourism, department of justice attorney Chad Readler told the judge via telephone.

The Trump administration had asked Watson to narrow his original ruling to cover only the part of Trump’s revised executive order that suspends new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. Readler said a freeze on the US refugee program had no effect on Hawaii.

Watson rejected that argument, preventing the administration from halting the arrival of refugees.
Hawaii was the first state to sue over Trump’s revised ban. The imam of a Honolulu mosque joined the challenge, arguing that the ban would prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting family in Hawaii.

In his arguments, Chin quoted Trump’s own comments that the revised travel ban is a “watered-down” version of the original.

“We cannot fault the president for being politically incorrect, but we do fault him for being constitutionally incorrect,” Chin said.

Earlier this month, Watson prevented the federal government from suspending new visas for people from Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen, and freezing the nation’s refugee program. His ruling came just hours before the federal government planned to start enforcing Trump’s executive order.

Trump called Watson’s previous ruling an example of “unprecedented judicial overreach”.

Chin said the extension of the ruling affirmed values of religious freedom, meaning Muslim travellers and refugees would face less uncertainty.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Designed By Blogger Templates