White House aide Sebastian Gorka said there is "no way on God's earth" that President Donald Trump's travel ban could be construed as discriminatory to Muslims, though multiple federal judges have ruled that it is. Watson was appointed to the bench by former Democratic President Barack Obama. Trump also continued attacking the judges and the entire court system for ruling against him, a tactic which has thus far proved fruitless. "We're going to keep our citizens safe", the president said.
The president had already vowed to challenge the Hawaii ruling, which he branded an "unprecedented judicial overreach" at a rally shortly after the order was handed down on Wednesday evening.
"As important, there is nothing unclear about the scope of the Court's order". Both the 9th Circuit and the 4th Circuit, where the appeals would be heard, have more judges appointed by Democrats than by Republicans.
The state's 38-page complaint asserted that the new executive order - much like the old - violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment because it is essentially a Muslim ban, hurts the ability of state businesses and universities to recruit top talent and damages the financial interests of the state, which considers tourism its lead economic driver.
There are a number of tweaks in the latest executive order. Within days, a judge in Seattle temporarily blocked the original travel ban from taking effect nationwide. It features a four-month ban on admitting any refugees and a three-month freeze on issuing visas to people from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. The current halt also stays implementation of the executive order's 120-day ban on admitting refugees. It provided a series of waivers for various categories of immigrants with ties to the United States. "Moreover, that cap - which has global applicability - draws no distinction whatsoever on the basis of religion, and none of the courts to analyze either the old or the new executive orders has called that cap into question". Noting that the populations of the countries is over 90% Muslim, the judge found the order still amounts to a Muslim ban.
The case is one of several moving through U.S. courts, brought by states' attorneys general and immigrant advocacy groups.
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Washington state, joined by California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and OR, said in court filings they supported the plaintiffs in Seattle. When courts determine whether an order that is neutral on its face is a pretext for discrimination, the intent of the persons designing, announcing and executing the order is always relevant, and public statements are certainly evidence of intent.
It should be noted that Robart's ruling closely echoes the defense that the Trump administration has offered up for the most recent immigration order, namely, "that the two were substantially different".
Various groups and companies said they would be harmed by the travel restrictions.
"Whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the president or the executive order, the president's decision was well within the powers of the presidency", Judge Jay Bybee wrote for the five.
The Maryland suit was originally filed against the first ban and amended to tackle the rewritten one.