Hawaii Judge Rules Again on Trump's New Travel Ban
US District Judge Derrick Watson issues longer-lasting order
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 30, 2017 4:09 AM CDT
Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin speaks outside federal court in Honolulu on Wednesday.   (Caleb Jones)
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(Newser) – A federal judge in Hawaii who temporarily blocked President Trump's revised travel ban hours before it was set to take effect issued a longer-lasting order Wednesday. US District Judge Derrick Watson held a hearing Wednesday on Hawaii's request to extend his temporary hold, the AP reports. Several hours later, he issued a 24-page order blocking the government from suspending new visas for travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the US refugee program. Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin argued that even though the revised ban has more neutral language, the implied intent is still there. He likened it to a neon sign flashing "Muslim Ban" that the government hasn't bothered to turn off.

The government argued the ban falls within the president's power to protect national security. Hawaii has only made generalized concerns about its effect on students and tourism, Department of Justice attorney Chad Readler told the judge via telephone. The Trump administration had asked Watson to narrow his ruling to cover only the part of Trump's executive order involving the six-nation ban. Readler said a freeze on the US refugee program had no effect on Hawaii. Watson rejected that argument, noting that the government said 20 refugees were resettled in Hawaii since 2010. "Is this a mathematical exercise that 20 isn't enough? ... What do I make of that?" the judge asked Readler.

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