In a blow to President Donald Trump's immigration agenda, two federal judges have blocked his revised ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries.
The new executive order would stop new visas being issued to residents of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days.
Trump decried the ruling during a rally Wednesday night in Nashville, introducing his statement as "the bad, the sad news".
In yet another blow for United States President Donald Trump, a U.S. judge has blocked the travel ban just hours before it was to come into effect.
The Trump administration's wide-ranging initial travel restrictions imposed on January 27 were slapped down by the federal courts, after sparking a legal, political and logistical furor.
The State Department has said it will continue to defend the ban in court.
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Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the team of civil rights lawyers who successfully blocked Trump's first travel ban in early February were in Robart's courtroom when the news from Hawaii broke. According to the Washington Post, the same federal judge who issued that stay is now considering challenges to the revised version. We are going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court.
"In this highly unique case", Chuang wrote, "the record provides strong indications that the national security objective is not the primary goal for the travel ban".
Government lawyers in Maryland argued that the updated version of the travel order had undergone substantial revisions and that it is necessary in the interests of national security in order to protect the United States from "radical Islamic terrorism". The new order omits Iraq, which was on the original list, as well as leaving out language granting entry preference for religious minorities, which opponents said was aimed at Christians and was evidence of an attempt to ban Muslims.
Basically, the Trump administration can't publicly declare again and again that they intend to find a way to legally discriminate against Muslims, then turn around and claim that the ban does no such thing. Besides calling the order "unprecedented overreach", Trump also said it "makes us look weak".
"It is hard to see how his analysis would ever permit the executive branch to impose any immigration policy that has any effect on predominantly Muslim countries - no matter how small", said Josh Blackman, an associate professor at the South Texas School of Law in Houston.
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