Whether you agree or disagree with the executive order — and there are plenty of people on both sides of that debate, for many different reasons — the judge’s ruling has some serious problems. Here are a few of them.
1. Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings
Trump said the temporary travel restriction was needed for national security. In issuing his temporary restraining order, Watson said Trump’s order was a result of nothing more than religious animus against Muslims. The judge’s order is predicated on what he thinks Trump wants to do, not the order itself.
Throughout the ruling, Judge Watson concedes there’s nothing about the executive order that would be problematic if not for his interpretation of Trump’s statements made in the months and years prior to issuing it. He repeatedly states his feeling that Trump had a bad motive in issuing the order.
2. Selective Quotations
Watson’s temporary restraining order focuses exclusively on campaign rhetoric from Trump and his advisors. He dismisses the government’s desire to “focus on the Executive Order’s text, rather than its context” by waving it away and discussing Trump’s press releases and cable news talking points. But those statements are selectively quoted.