Published: Sun, March 26, 2017
National | By Miranda Cannon

Judge Denies Motion For Preliminary Injunction Against Trump Travel Ban 2.0

Judge Denies Motion For Preliminary Injunction Against Trump Travel Ban 2.0

Because the administration's new ban on laptops aboard certain flights is eerily similar to its second travel ban - only Muslim-majority countries are included, only undisclosed security threats are cited, and both follow many anti-Muslim statements by President Donald Trump and others - this new action should logically be subject to the same constitutional arguments, and trigger the same injunctive relief, suggests public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

The Department of Justice has appealed the Maryland decision to the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals but has not appealed in the Hawaii case.

Signed on March 6, Trump's second travel-ban executive order placed a 90-day suspension on the issuance of visas to citizens of the six nations - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - and all refugee admissions into the USA for 120 days.

Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in his opinion that "the President has unqualified authority to bar physical entry to the United States at the border".

"It is no longer likely that Plaintiffs can succeed on their claim that the predominate objective of [executive order 2] is to discriminate against Muslims based on their religion and that [the order] is a pretext or a sham for that goal", the judge wrote.

Trenga ruled that, despite Trump's past statements, the changes made from the first executive order, notably removing specific references to religion, meant it was not unlawful.

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"We're pleased with this ruling, which found that the plaintiffs had no likelihood of success on the merits of their claims", Spicer said Friday during the daily press briefing.

"It's really scary because when someone comes forward who is telling the truth, but that truth is a little bit like one of those lies that we heard last week, you begin to worry that you know maybe this is another lie".

The plaintiffs, activists affiliated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, promised an appeal. "Supreme Court weighing in on this matter, as those are the judicial bodies that will ultimately decide whether the Constitution protects the rights of Muslim Americans". The ban has also been put on hold by a federal judge in Maryland.

Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Michele Ernst said Thursday the agency is aware of reports of threatening messages against U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson and is prepared to help if necessary.

An earlier travel ban signed in January was blocked by a federal appeals court, leading Trump to issue what he called a "watered down" version this month. Most provisions remain blocked by court order. But James says the laptop ban on flights might be the one time he's right.

He rejected the notion that the immigration ban was in any way a discriminatory religious test.

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