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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hawaii judge extends ruling that halts travel ban indefinitely

A Hawaiian federal judge granted the state’s request for a longer-term halt of the travel ban, an executive order, on Wednesday, March 30, 2017.

Judge Derrick Watson blocked the core provisions of the revised executive order made two weeks ago, concluding that the order is likely to violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution by disfavoring Muslims. However, Watson’s earlier decision was only a very limited freezing of the order; he used a temporary restraining order. Junior Ian Greenough stated, “If an executive order is issued, it was probably for a reason and should be followed. That’s just defiant towards your federal government.”

The plaintiffs asked the judge to change that decision into a longer-term preliminary injunction. Watson agreed on Wednesday night, which means that the President’s 90-day ban on foreign nationals from six countries, as well as the 120-day ban on all refugees entering the country, are now blocked indefinitely, unless a higher court changes his order or the state’s lawsuit is resolved.

The Justice Department said that it will continue to defend the executive order. Greenough commented, “He is the president who issued an executive order. That is in no way unconstitutional. Again, it was probably for a reason—like the safety of this country.”  

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