A federal judge in Hawaii became the man responsible for freezing President Donald Trump’s revised executive order implementing his “travel ban” and halt on refugee admissions. The revised order banned six countries this time (taking Iraq off the list this go around), and extending the refugee ban to all refugees, not just those from Syria. The “bans” were to last 90 days and 120 days respectively.
In a 43-page ruling explaining his verdict, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson pointed to Trump’s past comments regarding a “Muslim ban” to falsely claim that this ban (which has no effect on over 90 percent of the world’s Muslim population) is a Muslim ban. He also said the evidence was questionable that these countries posed a terror threat, even though 72 people from the original seven countries have been convicted of terrorism related charges since 9/11 (in comparison to the zero “fact checkers” claimed was the case).
The 43-page ruling somehow came within two hours of Hawaii’s temporary restraining order on the executive order last night, and thwarted Trump’s order just hours before it was to take effect today.
The internet rumor machine has been swirling since the decision, with some (rightly) pointing out that Judge Watson graduated college with Obama, and that Obama was in Hawaii over the past few days. Some sites are incorrectly reporting that the two met prior to his ruling (which wouldn’t be necessary if he wanted to influence the decision, as 1) phones exist, and 2) Hawaii was already opposed to the ban).
Now, rather than sign off on another revised executive order, Trump is vowing to fight this one. According to CNBCTrump responded to the ruling during a rally on Wednesday. “This ruling makes us look weak, which by the way we no longer are, believe me,” Trump said, vowing to “fight this terrible ruling.”
Promising “we’re going to win it,” Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court if need be.
In fact, Trump — who called the current order a “watered down” version of his first attempt — suggested he might want to return to fighting for those stronger travel measures.
More than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban, and federal courts in Maryland, Washington state and Hawaii heard arguments about whether it should be put into practice early Thursday.
We’ll see how this ends up being settled if it ends up going all the way to the Supreme Court. Maybe the judges there are aware that the Constitution doesn’t apply to non-US citizens.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]