No changes to travel ban rul­ing

Hawaii judge re­fuses to scale back his order to match a nar­rower Mary­land de­ci­sion.

Los Angeles Times - - MONDAY BUSINESS - By Jaweed Kaleem jaweed.kaleem @la­

The Hawaii judge who brought a na­tional halt to Pres­i­dent Trump’s new travel ban last week re­jected the gov­ern­ment’s re­quest to limit his rul­ing.

In a short fil­ing in his Honolulu court on Sun­day, U.S. Dis­trict Judge Der­rick Wat­son told fed­eral lawyers who protested against the broad scope of his rul­ing that “there is noth­ing un­clear” about his order.

The Jus­tice De­part­ment had filed a mo­tion late Fri­day ask­ing Wat­son to scale back his de­ci­sion to match a nar­rower rul­ing against the ban is­sued by a fed­eral court in Mary­land. Wat­son found that the travel ban dis­crim­i­nated against Mus­lims.

On Wed­nes­day, Wat­son or­dered a stop to Trump’s 90-day ban on travel into the U.S. by cit­i­zens of Iran, Libya, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, Syria and Ye­men, and a 120-day pause on refugee re­set­tle­ment from any coun­try.

The judge also stopped the gov­ern­ment’s at­tempt to cap refugee re­set­tle­ment and the com­pil­ing of a se­ries of gov­ern­ment stud­ies and re­ports on how refugees and for­eign vis­i­tors to the U.S. are vet­ted.

In their Fri­day mo­tion, gov­ern­ment lawyers asked Wat­son to re­vise his rul­ing to say it did not ap­ply to the refugee ban or to the gov­ern­ment stud­ies and re­ports. Fed­eral lawyers did not aban­don their ar­gu­ment that Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive order is con­sti­tu­tional, but said the judge should limit his rul­ing to the six-coun­try ban.

“The mo­tion, in other words, asks the court to make a dis­tinc­tion that the fed­eral de­fen­dants’ pre­vi­ous briefs and ar­gu­ments never did. As im­por­tant, there is noth­ing un­clear about the scope of the court’s order…. The fed­eral de­fen­dants’ mo­tion is de­nied,” Wat­son wrote Sun­day.

If Wat­son had granted the re­quest, the Hawaii rul­ing would have largely matched a Mary­land fed­eral court order against the travel ban that was is­sued on Thurs­day by U.S. Dis­trict Judge Theodore D. Chuang. The Mary­land judge de­clined to rule against the pause and cap on refugees.

The Jus­tice De­part­ment has ap­pealed Chuang ’s de­ci­sion to the U.S. 4th Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in Rich­mond, Va. It could also ap­peal last week’s Hawaii rul­ing to the U.S. 9th Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in San Fran­cisco.

The orig­i­nal travel ban, signed Jan. 27, was blocked in fed­eral dis­trict courts and the 9th Cir­cuit. The new ban, signed March 6 and sched­uled to go into ef­fect March 16, was mod­i­fied in an at­tempt to pass court muster.

Changes in the new ver­sion in­cluded delet­ing Iraq from the list of coun­tries whose trav­el­ers would be blocked and re­mov­ing pref­er­en­tial treat­ment of refugees who were reli­gious mi­nori­ties.

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