Judge in Hawaii Extends HALTS Trump

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Portrait of Donald Trump

A judge in Hawaii reportedly extended the block on President Donald Trump’s highly controversial second version of the travel ban. U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson took this decision during a ruling on Wednesday and changed it into a preliminary injunction. That decision stated that the government should not implement a ban on visa issuance to people from six mainly-Muslim countries.

Travel ban still blocked

This version of the embargo, which the judge blocked, is a rewritten one, which the president presented. The first travel ban was harsher, prohibited the issuance of visas for people from seven mainly-Muslim countries and was also blocked by a Judge in Seattle. However, it seems like this revised version is still not likely to become active anytime soon. According to Watson, it is still promoting the anti-Muslim sentiment. It is worth noting that the Justice Department numerous times asked Watson just to ignore the president’s statement about wanting to fight off terrorism with this ban. However, the judge rejected their wish one more time.

Donald Trump also publicly said that the second attempt represents a lighter version of the travel ban. According to the judge, the Court recognizes the effort done by the president to change the order and make it more approachable. Still, the Court’s opinion is that the changes are not very significant and do not alter the purpose of the ban. Despite changes, the order is still oriented against Muslims.

The judge denied any changes

This decision came after a hearing on Wednesday in the federal court in Honolulu. There, lawyers from Hawaii met with a local Muslim leader and with a Justice Department attorney. For the moment, the Justice Department did not make any comments. However, the department is expected to make an appeal to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month the 9th Circuit blocked the original travel ban. 

The administration reportedly already appealed for a narrower ruling by a judge in Maryland. Interestingly enough, that judge also blocked the visa-ban initiative from Donald Trump’s rewritten ban. He did this after being pressured by numerous refugee aid groups and people supporting the Muslim culture. At the moment, this appeal is pending at the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit and it remains to be seen what are they going to decide. All in all, it seems like President Donald Trump’s highly controversial travel ban is still facing a lot of opposition, especially from federal judges. Right now, the fate of this order is unknown, and we will see what the president’s reaction will be, in the following days.

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