A federal judge in Hawaii issued a worldwide restraining order against enforcement of key parts of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban executive order just hours before the directive was set to kick in, backed up by a second federal judge in Maryland who put out his own ruling blocking parts of the order.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson ruled that the state of Hawaii and a local Muslim leader had “a strong likelihood of success on their claim” that Trump’s order intentionally targets Muslims and therefore violates the Constitution’s guarantee against establishment of religion.
Watson bluntly rejected the federal government’s claims that the new directive does not target Islam because it is focused on six countries that account for less than 9 percent of the world’s Muslims.
“The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable,” wrote Watson, an appointee of President Barack Obama. “The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed. The Court declines to relegate its Establishment Clause analysis to a purely mathematical exercise.”