Judge Declines to Limit Restraining Order on Trump Travel Ban

Derrick K. Watson, District Judge

Last Sunday US District Court Judge Derrick Watson said no to a request by the Justice Department to narrow the parameters of the judge’s temporary restraining order on President Trump’s executive order travel ban.

The federal judge in Hawaii issued the temporary restraining order on crucial parts of the travel ban, including restricting travel to the US by citizens of six Muslim countries, as well as preventing refugees from entering the US from all over the world for 120 days. The executive order also caps the number of refugees entering the US at 50,000 for fiscal year 2017, and orders research into how refugees are vetted and how information is shared with foreign governments.

Judge Watson wrote in his restraining order:

“The Motion … asks the Court to make a distinction that the Federal Defendants’ previous briefs and arguments never did. As important, there is nothing unclear about the scope of the Court’s order. (“Defendants…are hereby enjoined from enforcing or implementing Sections 2 and 6 of the Executive Order across the Nation.”) The Federal Defendants’ Motion is DENIED.”

The ruling allows the Trump administration to appeal the judge’s decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The State of Hawaii and the imam of the local Muslim association are the plaintiffs in the case, opposing the limiting of the judge’s restraining order.

The lawyers for the Imam Ismail Elshikh and Hawaii stated in a court filing on Saturday:

“The notion that the Court’s Order would preclude Executive Branch consultation or trench on executive prerogatives is meritless. The Court’s Order merely prevents executive branch action under the auspices of an illegal Executive Order. The Government could engage in appropriate consultations independent of this order; it simply cannot do so as part and parcel of effectuating the President’s promise to implement a Muslim ban.”

The justice department did not comment on the Watson’s ruling.

A spokesman for the Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin was happy with the ruling.

“We always believed the court’s order was clear and agree with its decision to deny the Department of Justice’s motion,” spokesman Joshua Wisch said.

Gail Nussbaum

Gail Nussbaum has been involved in politics and diplomacy for over 15 years. Her interest in foreign relations, economics and budget policy has led her to her position as fiscal policy writer at Left Justified. Gail can be contacted at gailnussbaum(at)leftjustified.com.

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