Another federal judge rejects Trump's travel ban

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Updated Oct. 18, 2017 at 4:54 PM
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Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Another federal judge on Wednesday blocked President Donald Trump's third attempted travel ban.

The halt to Trump's latest order on foreign travel to the United States, a preliminary injunction from Maryland District Judge Theodore Chuang, was less restrictive than one issued by a Hawaii judge Tuesday -- but it blocks the administration from enforcing the order on travelers without a "bona fide" familial or professional relationship with someone in the United States. The limitations are spelled out in Section 2 of Trump's proclamation.

"This preliminary Injunction is granted on a nationwide basis and prohibits the enforcement of Section 2 of Presidential Proclamation 9645 in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas," Chuang wrote.

The president's ban was set to take effect Wednesday. Hours earlier, it was partially blocked by the Hawaii ruling and applied to travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela.

Watson's ruling did not address accusations that Trump's proclamation was motivated by discrimination against Muslim travelers, but Chuang's 91-page ruling did -- suggesting that Trump intended to bar U.S. entry to Muslims, a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

The Maryland judge noted that as a presidential candidate, Trump promised a "complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" and that all of the president's comments suggest his order is directed toward that goal.

Chuang also noted that in August, while courts were weighing an updated travel ban, Trump "endorsed what appears to be an apocryphal story involving General John J. Pershing and a purported massacre of Muslims with bullets dipped in a pig's blood, advising people to 'study what General Pershing . . . did to terrorists when caught.'"

The National Iranian American Council said Wednesday that it, with 15 other activist groups, obtained 42,000 signatures on a petition calling for Congress to rescind the latest travel ban. The petitions, the NIAC said, will be sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The coalition said it called on Congress to "make absolutely clear that such attempts to target Muslims, or anyone on the basis of national origin, are unlawful." Protesters gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday to deliver the message.

Trump and administration officials have repeatedly said the temporary ban is motivated by national security interests.

The White House did not immediately respond to the judge's order Wednesday.

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