In our previous post, we discussed some of the primary components of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, an effort undertaken after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of a lower court to block its predecessor from taking effect earlier this year.
In the days leading up to the implementation of the amended executive order, White House officials expressed confidence that it would withstand any legal challenges given both its revisions and specific focus on national security. However, in a surprising turn of events, these efforts to implement a travel ban were once again stymied by the federal court system.
Late Wednesday, a federal court in Hawaii temporarily blocked the travel ban, as well as the temporary suspension of the refugee program.
Here, the presiding judge held that the revised travel ban violated the First Amendment, citing the "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" behind it, and referencing a widely publicized press release in support of this argument.
In similar developments, a federal court in Maryland issued a temporary injunction indefinitely barring the travel ban from taking effect earlier today.
Here, the presiding judge invoked parallel reasoning for the decision, citing controversial public statements made by President Trump as "highly relevant" in finding that the travel ban violated the First Amendment.
Where the Maryland decision did differ, however, was that it issued no injunctive relief concerning the refugee program, finding that the plaintiffs failed to develop their First Amendment argument.
For its part, the Justice Department has since vowed to continue the fight to implement the travel ban, while immigrant advocacy and civil liberties groups, understandably enthused by the latest victory, have also vowed to continue with their efforts as necessary.
The next stop for the Hawaii decision would be the 9th Circuit, which as we stated above, affirmed the decision to shelve the first travel ban, while the next stop for the Maryland decision would be the 4th Circuit, which experts indicate has become less conservative in recent years.
As always, stay tuned for updates ...
If you have questions or concerns relating to any aspect of U.S. immigration law, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can answer your questions and pursue solutions.