Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland have blocked President Donald Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0. In their ruling both judges cited Trump's statements about Muslims during the presidential campaign.
A federal judge in Hawaii Wednesday ordered a temporary restraining order nationwide, hours before it was set to go into effect on Thursday.
Another federal judge in Maryland Thursday morning specifically blocked the 90-day ban on immigration for citizens of six Muslim countries.
A federal judge in Washington State is also in the process of evaluating challenges to the new travel ban, but may defer ruling in light of the nationwide ruling in Hawaii, CNN said.
Trump decried Hawaii Judge ruling during a rally Wednesday night in Nashville, introducing his statement as "the bad, the sad news," the CNN reported. "The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first one," Trump said, as the crowd booed the news."This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach," he added, before pledging to take the issue to the Supreme Court if necessary.
The Justice Department said it will defend the new travel ban, the CNN reported.
"The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the federal district court's ruling, which is flawed both in reasoning and in scope. The President's Executive Order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our Nation's security, and the Department will continue to defend this Executive Order in the courts," DOJ said in a statement Wednesday night.
In a 43-page ruling, US District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii concluded that the new executive order failed to pass legal muster at this stage and the state had established "a strong likelihood of success" on their claims of religious discrimination.
"The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed," Watson wrote.
"Equally flawed is the notion that the Executive Order cannot be found to have targeted Islam because it applies to all individuals in the six referenced countries," Watson added. "It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%."
"It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam," Watson added. "Certainly, it would be inappropriate to conclude, as the Government does, that it does not."
"When considered alongside the constitutional injuries and harms ... and the questionable evidence supporting the Government's national security motivations, the balance of equities and public interests justify granting the Plaintiffs' (request to block the new order)," Watson wrote.
The case in Maryland was brought by three organizations and six people, claiming the order affected their work or prevented their family members from the affected countries from getting visas to enter the United States.