President Trump’s revised travel ban was put on hold Wednesday by a federal judge in Hawaii just hours before it was set to take effect after hearing arguments that the executive order discriminates on the basis of nationality.
Trump addressed the judge’s move during a rally in Nashville, Tennessee calling it “unprecedented judicial overreach” and vowed to fight.
“We’re going to win. We’re going to keep our citizens safe,” Trump said. “The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear.”
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson prevents the executive order from going into effect, at least for now. Hawaii had requested a temporary restraining order.
“Enforcement of these provisions in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this Court,” Watson wrote in his ruling.
In a statement released late Wednesday night the Department of Justice said they strongly disagreed with the ruling and called the move “flawed both in reasoning and scope.”
“The President’s Executive Order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our Nation’s security, and the Department will continue to defend this Executive Order in the courts,” said DOJ Spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores.
The ruling came as opponents renewed their legal challenges across the country, asking judges in three states to block the executive order that targets people from six predominantly Muslim countries.
More than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban, and federal courts in Maryland, Washington state and Hawaii heard arguments about whether it should be put into practice early Thursday.
Hawaii also argued to the court that the ban would prevent residents from receiving visits from relatives in the six countries covered by the order. The state says the ban would harm its tourism industry and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.
Senator Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, welcomed the ruling and said “Judge Watson exemplifies the importance of an independent judiciary.”
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called the travel ban “bad policy” and praised Attorney General Doug Chin for stopping the order.
In Maryland, attorneys told a federal judge that the measure still discriminates against Muslims.