The same federal judge in Hawaii who has proven himself a thorn in the side of President Donald Trump and his repeated attempts to enforce a travel restriction from multiple countries deemed prone to terror has once again temporarily halted the latest iteration of the controversial ban.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted the Hawaii’s request on Tuesday to temporarily block the federal government from enforcing the ban, which was slated to take effect at midnight EDT on Wednesday.
The latest ban – Trump’s third attempt to create a barrier that would have halted almost all travel to the United States from seven countries – was even more restrictive than the original executive order.
Most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, and North Korea would have been blocked from entering the United States, while some citizens of Iraq and certain groups of people in Venezuela would have had to jump through additional hoops to secure their entry.
In his ruling, Watson wrote that the newest travel ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor,” observing: “professional athletes mirror the federal government in this respect: they operate within a set of rules, and when one among them forsakes those rules in favor of his own, problems ensue.”
The White House pushed back against the ruling on Tuesday, claiming that it “undercuts the President’s effort to keep the American people safe” and noted the countries singled out display an “inability or unwillingness to share critical information” about prospective travelers.
Now, the Trump administration is banking on higher courts to reverse Watson’s ruling. While Watson moved to block Trump’s second travel ban in a ruling that was upheld by an appeals court, the Supreme Court allowed portions of that version to become enforced.