Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Court Bars Enforcement of Most of Trump's Third Travel Ban

In State of Hawaii v. Trump,(D HI, Oct. 17, 2017), a Hawaii federal district court issued a nation-wide temporary restraining order barring enforcement of most portions of the latest, more focused, version of President Trump's travel ban. (See prior related posting.)  This version, set out in a Presidential Proclamation  and scheduled to take effect today, covers travel to the U.S. by nationals of eight countries.  The court banned enforcement of the Proclamation ("EO-3") against nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.  Plaintiffs had not sought a ban on enforcing the provisions barring travelers from North Korea and some travelers from Venezuela.  The court summarized:
Ignoring the guidance afforded by the Ninth Circuit that at least this Court is obligated to follow, EO-3 suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States,” a precondition that the Ninth Circuit determined must be satisfied before the Executive may properly invoke Section 1182(f). Hawaii, 859 F.3d at 774. And EO-3 plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the Ninth Circuit has found antithetical to both Section 1152(a) and the founding principles of this Nation. Hawaii, 859 F.3d at 776–79.
As with the 9th Circuit's earlier decision (see prior posting), this approach allowed the court to avoid reaching plaintiff's argument that the Proclamation amounts to an unconstitutional "Muslim ban."  Anticipating an appeal, the court also ruled that it would not stay its Order pending any appeal.  CNN reports on the decision.

UPDATE: On Oct. 20, the court converted the TRO to a preliminary injunction. (Full text of order.)