Judge rejects U.S. request to clarify order halting travel ban
July 28, 2017 | 78° | Check Traffic

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Judge rejects U.S. request to clarify order halting travel ban

  • GEORGE F. LEE / 2015

    Hours before it was to take effect, President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban was put on hold Wednesday, March 15, 2017, by Judge Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii who questioned whether the administration was motivated by national security concerns.

A federal judge today rejected the U.S. government’s request to clarify his temporary order blocking President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said nothing was unclear about his order and the government can’t ask for a distinction that officials failed to make in earlier briefs and arguments, according to online court records.

Watson issued the temporary restraining order Wednesday in response to a lawsuit from the state of Hawaii, concluding there was “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus” behind the travel ban.

Two days later, the Justice Department asked Watson to clarify that the order only applied to the ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries and not a global freeze on refugees entering the United States.

Watson asked federal officials and Hawaii on Sunday how they want to proceed regarding a possible extension of his order.

Trump has called the Hawaii ruling an example of “unprecedented judicial overreach” and has indicated it will be appealed.

Similar cases are being heard in federal courts in Washington state and Maryland. In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to block the travel ban.

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