Federal judge in Maryland becomes second to issue ruling against Trump travel ban

The Baltimore Sun
A federal judge in Maryland is the second to issue an opinion against President Trump's travel ban.

A federal judge in Maryland issued a restraining order Thursday morning, becoming the second such judge to block President Trump's revised travel ban, according to reports.

The Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang issued a ruling early Thursday, using Trump's own comments against him in deciding the ban was likely unconstitutional.

The Maryland ruling marks another win for challengers of the president's executive order, which had been slated to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Earlier, a different federal judge in Hawaii stopped it.

Chuang's order did not sweep as broadly as the one in Hawaii, but he similarly declared that even the revised travel ban was intended to discriminate against Muslims. He said those wanting evidence of anti-Muslim intent need look no further than what the president himself has said about it.

Chuang's ruling won't upend or call into question the decision in Hawaii, instead offering some measure of reinforcement.

"The history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the purpose of the Second Executive Order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban," Chuang wrote.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state, and that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination.

Watson criticized what he called the "illogic" of the government's arguments and cited "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" behind the travel ban. He also noted that while courts should not examine the "veiled psyche" and "secret motives" of government decision-makers, "the remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry."

"For instance, there is nothing 'veiled' about this press release: 'Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,'" Watson wrote, referring to a statement Trump issued as a candidate.

Trump called the ruling an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach" and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement.

"We're going to win. We're going to keep our citizens safe," the president said at a rally in Nashville. "The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear."

Reporting from The Washington Post and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
48°