Hours before President Donald Trump's revised executive order on immigration was set to take effect, a U.S. federal judge in Hawaii granted an emergency injunction against the travel ban nationwide on Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson granted a temporary restraining order against the ban on the basis that it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Hawaii was the first state to file a legal challenge against the revised executive order. The state's attorney general, Doug Chin, argued that the travel ban – which temporarily halts immigration from six predominantly Muslim countries and suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days – was unconstitutional. The state claimed that the ban would hurt its economy, negatively impact tourism and public universities, and discriminates against Muslims living in the state.
An attorney representing the federal government disputed the state's claims and implored the judge not to grant the injunction, saying doing so would jeopardize national security.
The government is expected to appeal the ruling in federal appeals court.
How we got to this point.
After the president signed his initial executive order on immigration in January, Washington state filed a motion for a temporary restraining order that was subsequently granted. The Trump administration appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but a panel of three judges upheld the decision on February 7. Instead of appealing that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, the administration chose to rewrite the order to address legal concerns raised in Washington's district court.
The revised order contained several differences, including exemptions for legal permanent residents and a delayed implantation. It also removed Iraq from the list of countries barred from immigrating to the U.S.