Virginia Court Gives Trump His First Win On Updated Travel Ban

Posted March 25, 2017

The Hawaii federal judge who halted President Donald Trump's revised travel and refugee ban has been receiving threats.

The decision went against two previous court rulings that put an emergency halt to the order before it was set to take effect on March 16.

More than 1,700 readers responded to the poll, which was conducted mostly after the Trump administration came out with its original travel ban but before the president issued his second, somewhat revised executive order.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga, who sits on the Eastern District Court of Virginia in Alexandria, rebuffed Muslim activists' request to temporarily bar the executive order on the grounds that the ban, which blocks travel to the United States for travelers from six predominately Muslim countries, acts as a discriminatory ban on a particular religious group.

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The Trump administration argued that the revised executive order was meant to protect the United States from terrorism.

"Plaintiffs can succeed on their claim that the predominate goal of EO-2 is to discriminate against Muslims based on their religion and that EO-2 is a pretext or a sham for that objective", he wrote.

Last week, a federal judge in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order against the travel ban's implementation. "We look forward to the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court weighing in on this matter, as those are the bodies that will ultimately decide whether the Constitution will protect the rights of Muslim Americans", plaintiffs' attorney Gadeir Abbas said in a statement to CNN.

But Trenga said only the order itself should be up for review by the courts - not the president's past comments. "The Department of Justice is pleased with the ruling", said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokesperson.

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"The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable", Watson wrote in his ruling.

Specifically, Trenga ruled that the challenge to the executive order was unlikely to succeed on the statutory claim that the order violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the constitutional claims that it violates the Establishment Clause or the Equal Protection Clause.

FBI spokeswoman Michele Ernst said they know about threats Watson has received and is prepared to help, but did not provide further information about the investigation.

CAIR filed for the injunction on behalf of an American citizen - among others - seeking to be reunited with a foreign-born spouse, as well as for students whose ability to visit their families overseas would be imperiled by the executive order. His first travel ban against seven Muslim-majority nations introduced in January was also blocked by the courts.

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