U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson put an emergency stop to the new order in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Hawaii, which argued that the order discriminated against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Watson concluded in his ruling that while the order did not mention Islam by name, "a reasonable, objective observer ... would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion." Watson was appointed to the bench by former Democratic President Barack Obama. Watson's ruling specifically cited Fox News appearances by Trump Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller and former Trump campaign surrogate and close friend Rudy Giuliani.
The ruling says:
On February 21, Senior Advisor to the President, Stephen Miller, told Fox News that the new travel ban would have the same effect as the old one. He said: “Fundamentally, you’re still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country, but you’re going to be responsive to a lot of very technical issues that were brought up by the court and those will be addressed. But in terms of protecting the country, those basic policies are still going to be in effect.”
Watson also mentions in the ruling:
“Rudolph Giuliani explained on television how the Executive Order came to be. He said: ‘When [Mr. Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’”
“Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude ... that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, secondary to a religious objective of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims,” Watson wrote.
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