On Wednesday a federal judge indefinitely extended a previously temporary restraining order against U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim Ban executive order.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson turned his earlier temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction as part of an ongoing lawsuit against Trump’s executive order banning immigration from six majority-Muslim countries.
The state of Hawaii launched the lawsuit claiming Trump’s revised executive order, issued March 6, perpetuates the same unconstitutional religious discrimination as the original executive order, which was overturned by a federal judge in January.
“The court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has,” Watson wrote on Wednesday.
While Trump’s lawyers claim the executive order does not discriminate based on religion, previous courts ruled against the order noting the president and his surrogates’ repeated public promises to impose “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Watson noted that his initial decision to grant the preliminary injunction was based on the likelihood that Hawaii would succeed in proving the revised executive order violated the U.S. Constitution’s provisions protecting religious freedom.
Hawaii claims its state universities will be harmed by the order because they would have trouble recruiting students and faculty.
It also says the island state’s economy would be hit by a decline in tourism, pointing to reports that travel to the U.S. “took a nosedive” after Trump’s initial order created a wave of fear and massive protests.
The indefinite extension of the injunction is significant because Trump has vowed to take this case to the Supreme Court, a process which could take years.
Trump declined to appeal the injunction against his first executive order banning Muslim travelers to the U.S., saying that instead he would sign a new order which would pass a court challenge.
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