While the revised version kept in place a 120-day halt of all refugee resettlement, it removed the original order’s permanent ban on refugees from Syria and exemptions for religious minorities, namely Christians.
In a separate case, the state of Hawaii has filed its own amended lawsuit challenging the ban.
The previous order was struck down by the USA 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The administration cited the substantial changes to the executive order, arguing that it “clarifies and narrows the scope of executive action regarding immigration, extinguishes the need for emergent consideration, and eliminates the potential constitutional concerns identified by the Ninth Circuit”.
Chuang ruled that the agencies were likely to succeed in proving that the travel ban portion of the executive order was meant to be a ban on Muslims and, as a result, violates the U.S. Constitution’s religious freedom protection.
“It used to be the most conservative court in the country, that is no longer true”, Tobias said. “And I thought it was very, very unfair”.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also reported in a statement, “While this administration is packaging this as a new and improved executive order, it is the same ban that discriminates against the same people, it was wrong the first time and it’s wrong the second”. At the end of the day, this unchecked power grab by activist judges who ignore the law because they disagree with the underlying policy is jeopardizing national security and impeding President Trump’s ability to protect the American people.
Refugee assistance and civil rights groups are challenging the ban in a federal court in Maryland. Federal judge Derrick Watson in his ruling termed the executive order “religiously biased”.
Judge James Robart said the parties could ask him to reconsider should circumstances change.
O’Neill Kennedy, communications director of Penn State College Democrats, said she does not look at the travel ban any differently than she had before. But, as the judges who’ve reviewed the travel bans have determined, the intent is to ban Muslims.
A three-judge panel of the San Francisco appeals court in February refused to reactivate the original ban.
“We’re going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court”, Trump said at a campaign rally in Nashville, the state of Tennessee, suggesting the ruling was made for “political reasons”.
The indicated plan by the government to appeal the Maryland case to the Fourth Circuit Court would not have an impact on the Seattle cases, because that Circuit Court does not make decisions binding on the Seattle court. As Watson observed, quoting the 1982 case Supreme Court case Larson v. Valente, “the clearest command of the Establishment Clause is that one religious denomination can not be officially preferred over another”.
Just before the ban was scheduled to go into effect, a federal judge in Hawaii issued a restraining order stopping it, and later another judge in Maryland also ruled against it.
Both Judge Robart and US District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland said they would issue written rulings in their cases, but did not specify a time line.