Second Judge in Maryland Halts Trump’s Latest Attempt at Travel Ban

Omar Jadwat (center) director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, speaks at a news conference outside a federal courthouse in Maryland following a hearing regarding lawsuits over the Trump administration’s proposed travel ban. | Patrick Semansky/AP

A federal judge in Maryland granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the latest iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel ban late Tuesday, following a similar order by a federal judge in Hawaii.

U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang said the administration had “not shown that national security cannot be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban.”

In a 91-page order, Chuang cited the president’s tweets and statements as evidence the third version of the policy carried the same intent as the Muslim ban Trump backed on the campaign trail.

“To the extent that the Government might have provided additional evidence to establish that national security is now the primary purpose for the travel ban, it has not done so,” Chuang wrote. “Of course, even if such evidence was forthcoming, its value in obviating the taint of the earlier Executive Orders would be limited.”

The third version of the ban, announced in September, places travel restrictions on six majority-Muslim nations — Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — as well as two other countries, North Korea and Venezuela. The restrictions against the latter two nations affect few travelers, however.

The Trump administration said the ban was based on an assessment of each country’s ability and willingness to screen travelers and share vetting information. In a statement issued after a judge in Honolulu halted the policy on Tuesday, the White House called the decision “dangerously flawed.”

The Justice Department said it would appeal both the Hawaii and Maryland decisions. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning, stood by the policy in opening remarks.

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SOURCE: Politico, Ted Hesson