The Trump Travel Ban is Religiously “Neutral”
US President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban does not discriminate on the basis of religion and was wrongly 2nd-guessed by a federal judge in Hawaii, the Trump Administration said in court documents filed with an appeals court Friday seeking to reinstate the Presidential ban.
Last month in Hawaii, US District Judge Derrick Watson blocked the revised travel ban in response to a lawsuit by the State of Hawaii that argued the policy discriminates against Muslims.
Judge Watson said there was “significant and un-rebutted evidence of religious animus” behind the ban, which prevents new visas for people from 6 Muslim-majority countries and suspends the nation’s refugee program. The administration appealed to the San Francisco-based 9th Us Circuit Court of Appeals.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said in court documents filed with the 9th Circuit Friday that Judge Watson 2nd-guessed President Trump’s judgment that the order was needed to protect the nation and wrongly relied on statements President Trump made on the campaign trail to conclude the travel ban was motivated by religious discrimination.
“The Order applies to all nationals of the listed countries, and all refugees from any country, regardless of anyone’s religion …,” the DOJ said in its filing. “To be sure, this Order has been the subject of heated debate. But the precedent set by this case will long transcend this Order, this President, and this constitutional moment.”
The DOJ also questioned Hawaii’s authority to challenge the ban. The state has argued its tourist-driven economy would suffer harm.
3 judges on the 9th Circuit blocked the administration’s 1st ban, but the DOJ said the President’s revisions addressed their concerns.
The Trump Administration is also appealing a separate ruling by a federal judge in Maryland blocking the restriction on new visas. That case is before a different appeals court.
Have a terrific weekend.