Virginia federal judge rules in favor of Trump's travel ban

A protester holds a sign and the American Flag as demonstrators gather to protest against President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven primarily Muslim countries during a rally in Philadelphia

Why Isn't The Laptop Ban Unconstitutional Like The Travel Ban?

Hawaii's attorney general says new US government rules prohibiting the use of laptops and other electronic gadgets on flights from eight Muslim-majority nations prove that President Donald Trump's control of immigration and national security isn't hampered by the state's lawsuit over his travel ban.

Trump signed the revised travel ban order on March 6, after the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge's injunction against his initial January 27 executive action.

However, the March 6 travel ban, which temporarily prevents entry to the United States for citizens from six Muslim majority countries, remains stayed - with two previous courts ruling in favour of an emergency halt on the ban.

"The substantive revisions reflected in [the second order] have reduced the probative value of the President's statements to the point that it is no longer likely that Plaintiffs can succeed on their claim that the predominate objective of EO-2 is to discriminate against Muslims based on their religion and that EO-2 is a pretext or a sham for that goal", Trenga wrote.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said: "We're confident that the president's fully lawful and necessary action will ultimately be allowed to move forward through the rest of the court systems".

Trenga ruled that, despite Trump's past statements, the changes made from the first executive order, notably removing specific references to religion, meant it was not unlawful.

"Plaintiffs have not established that (1) they are likely to succeed on the merits of their case, (2) the balance of hardships tips in their favor, or (3) immediate relief would be in the public interest".


Abbas pointed to Trump's remarks at the rally, saying they showed the president's real motive is a bias against Islam.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations brought the case to the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria.

The Hawaii judge who issued one of the injunctions, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, is now the focus of 24-hour protection from federal authorities after he began to receive death threats.

According to the Times, the Justice Department has filed an appeal on the Maryland decision, but not the Hawaii case, and Trump has said he wants to take arguments over his precious ban to the U.S. Supreme Court. That put Trenga at odds with other federal judges who have ruled the president's past comments can be taken into account in determining whether he meant to discriminate against Muslims.

Two federal judges - one in Maryland and one in Hawaii - have blocked implementation of the core provisions of the travel ban, and it remains on hold nationwide.

CAIR is also representing more than 20 Muslims who are subject to the stigmatization resulting from the executive order.

"It is no longer likely that plaintiffs can succeed on their claim that the predominate objective of (the travel ban) is to discriminate against Muslims based on their religion and that (the travel ban) is a pretext or a sham for that goal", Trenga wrote.

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