Two federal judges have issued temporary restraining orders on
President Trump’s second Executive Order
(EO). The second EO proposed to ban citizens, from six predominantly Muslim
countries—Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen—from entering the
United States for at least 90 days, ostensibly for national security purposes.
Iraq was excluded from the revised EO. Unlike the Administration’s earlier travel ban,
this order was not designed to take effect immediately, instead it had a start
date of March 16, 2017.
revisions did little to persuade the judges, each of whom issued
temporary restraining orders on the travel ban’s implementation nationwide.
Both U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii and U.S. District Judge
Theodore Chuang in Maryland cited statements from the Trump campaign in their
rulings that the EO was intended to discriminate against Muslims. Judge Watson
wrote in his March 15 opinion, even a “reasonable, objective observer” would
see that the new order was “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular
religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.” Judge Chuang,
in a ruling issued just hours before the ban was to take effect on March 16,
made a similar comment: “In this highly unique case, the record provides strong
indications that the national security purpose is not the primary purpose for
the travel ban.”
later developments, on March 29, Judge Watson extended the injunction
indefinitely to stop implementation of President Trump’s EO. Judge Watson
wrote that the “entirety” of the order runs afoul of religious protections in
the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution. The new order extending
the injunction means the Trump Administration will not be able to implement the
EO until the matter is fully adjudicated. The Trump Administration is expected
to appeal the Hawaii injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th
Circuit. President Trump indicated that he will pursue implementation of the EO
all the way to the Supreme Court.