Federal judge blocks revised Trump travel ban, citing ‘significant’ evidence of ‘religious animus’

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Noting that the plantiffs have “a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim,” a federal judge in Hawaii has temporarily blocked key portions of the Trump administration’s new, revised travel ban. The order applies nationwide.

The judge was especially critical of the government’s assertion that the ban is not religiously oriented because only a “small fraction” of Muslims worldwide are affected.

The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.

The court also noted “evidence of religious animus” from Donald Trump personally, during interviews, as well as advisers’ comments that the second travel ban was intended to have the same “policy outcome” as the first.

These plainly-worded statements,14 made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose. Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude, as does the Court for purposes of the instant Motion for TRO, that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, “secondary to a religious objective” of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims.

The “new” travel ban was supposed to have gone into effect at midnight; it is now suspended nationwide.


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