Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked President Trump’s “travel ban” executive order from taking effect as scheduled on Thursday, saying that the order discriminates against Muslims.
The rulings in Hawaii late Wednesday and in Maryland early Thursday excited civil liberties groups and advocates for immigrants and refugees, who complained that a temporary ban on travel from six predominantly Muslim countries violated the First Amendment. The Trump administration argued that the ban was intended to protect the United States from terrorism, as the countries temporarily banned have the largest population of jihadists.
In Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang — who was appointed by then-president Barack Obama — called Trump’s statements about barring Muslims from entering the United States “highly relevant.” The second executive order removed a preference for religious minorities from the affected countries, among other changes that the Justice Department argued would address the legal concerns surrounding the first ban, which was also blocked in court. (Read more from “2 Federal Judges Block New Trump Travel Ban” HERE)