A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Trump’s revised travel ban – just hours before it was expected to go into effect across the United States.
Tuesday’s decision from U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu stops the administration’s third attempt to indefinitely ban entry into the country by most nationals of Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea. The ban would also prevent some Venezuelan government officials and their families.
"Today’s dangerously flawed district court order undercuts the President’s efforts to keep the American people safe and enforce minimum security standards for entry into the United States," the White House said in a statement. "The Department of Justice will vigorously defend the President’s lawful action."
Watson, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, found Trump's executive order "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor."
The judge said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling that found Trump's previous ban exceeds the scope of his authority. The latest version "plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to ... the founding principles of this nation," Watson wrote.
The government has said the new policy was based on an objective assessment of each country's security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S.