Hawaii Moves to be the First State to File Lawsuit Against Trump's New Travel Ban

Photo of Hakim Ouansafi, president of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, speaking at a news conference in Honolulu on February 1, 2017 via AP.

On Monday, Donald Trump signed a newer, shinier version of the travel ban that prevents people from six Muslim-majority countries from getting visas for 90 days and suspends the refugee program in the United States for 120 days: On Tuesday, Hawaii filed a suit against the new travel ban, in the hopes of it being heard before the ban goes into effect on March 16th.

CNN reports that the suit will seek a temporary restraining order against the new ban, making Hawaii the first state in the nation to take legal action against the new executive order.


“To be sure, the new executive order covers fewer people than the old one,” Neal Katyal, one of the lawyers working on the case told CNN. While the language of the new order has changed slightly, it’s essentially the same xenophobic garbage as before, dressed in a flashy new suit. And, according to Katyal, it still “suffers from the same constitutional and statutory defects as the previous one.”

Perhaps thinking that the newest version of the same old crap is toothless and more tolerant, the Department of Justice voluntarily dropped its appeal against the federal court in Seattle whose ruling suspended the first order, according to Reuters. Despite the outcry from Democrats and opponents of the new travel ban, this one might be harder to fight.

From the Washington Post:

The Justice Department has asserted that there is “no imminent harm” from the imposition of the new ban, as visa applicants typically have to wait months. To win a temporary restraining order, Hawaii would have to prove there was an immediate need for it.

In the long run, the state probably would try to prove that the executive order violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment in that it intentionally discriminates against Muslims.


Regardless of how narrow the focus is of this new ban, it’s plain to see that Trump still intends to keep his campaign trail promise of banning Muslims from the United States. This new version is simply putting lipstick on the same snuffling, smelly pig.

Oral arguments in the case are set to begin March 15th, a day before the travel ban takes effect.

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