Hawaii judge rejects government’s request to clarify order halting travel ban

Judge Derrick Watson (Photo courtesy U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii)


HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge on Sunday 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.

In his new order, Watson wrote that “The Motion … asks the Court to make a distinction that the Federal Defendants’ previous briefs and arguments never did. As important, there is nothing unclear about the scope of the Court’s order….(“Defendants…are hereby enjoined from enforcing or implementing Sections 2 and 6 of the Executive Order across the Nation.”). The Federal Defendants’ Motion is DENIED.”

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.

President 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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