Second judge blocks Donald Trumpapos;s controversial travel ban
A second US judge has blocked Donald Trump’s travel ban just hours before it was due to take effect.
The injunction was granted in Maryland on the same day that Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii blocked the revised ban.
Judge Theodore Chuang granted a nationwide preliminary injunction after Judge Watson on Tuesday. The latest ban from the Trump administration, released in September, sought to place travel restrictions on citizens of eight countries.
These affected citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and some Venezualan government officials and their families. They were due to go into effect on Wednesday.
Judge Chuang said the plaintiffs “are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief, and that the balance of the equities and the public interest favor an injunction.”
He noted Trump posted a document called “Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration” on his website in December of 2015. He also highlighted other references by Trump, including calls for keeping Muslims out of the US.
The president’s lastest attempt at a travel ban came in September, when he issued a proclamation targeting people from Muslim-majority countries.
The proclamation also included North Korea and some officials of Venezuala.
The Trump administration said the ban was based on an assessment of each country’s security and whether they would share information with the US.
The ruling came after Judge Watson granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the government from enforcing the policy on Tuesday.
Judge Watson’s ruling said the new ban fails to show that nationality alone makes a person a greater security risk to the U.S.
The Hawaii judge said the Trump’s latest travel ban suffers from the same problems as a previous version.
He argued that the updated ban is a continuation of President Donald Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States”, and said the latest version discriminates based on nationality.
Judge Chuang’s ruling said the administration had “not shown that national security cannot be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban.”
In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions. Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland are challenging the order in front of the Seattle judge who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January.
The White House calls Tuesday’s decision “dangerously flawed.” The Justice Department says it will appeal.
The restrictions were the third set of travel restrictions issued by the president to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts.