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Breaking News: U.S. District Court Judge in Hawaii Issues a Nationwide Hold on Key Aspects of President Trump’s Revised Travel Ban

March 15, 2017

In response to a lawsuit brought by the State of Hawaii, a U.S. District Court Judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) today against President Trump’s revised travel ban, just hours before the ban was set to take effect. The revised travel ban, which was issued by President Trump on March 6, 2017, seeks to temporarily restrict the entry of certain foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) as well as suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for a specified period of time.

In its complaint, the State of Hawaii alleged that the new Executive Order, much like its predecessor, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as it mainly targets countries with a predominantly Muslim community. The State asserted that “by singling out nationals from the six predominantly Muslim countries, the Executive Order causes harm by stigmatizing not only immigrants and refugees, but also Muslim citizens of the United States”.

Upon evaluation of the parties’ submissions, and following a court hearing on March 15, 2017, the judge ruled that Hawaii had met its burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim and accordingly, granted the motion for a temporary restraining order.

The impact of this ruling is a nationwide restraining order prohibiting enforcement or implementation of Sections 2 and 6 of President Trump’s new travel ban. An expedited hearing will be held to further determine whether this temporary restraining order should be extended.

EIG will continue to monitor the situation and share updates as they become available.