U.S. Judge Gives Hawaii Green Light to Oppose Trump's New Travel Ban

The state could add to its initial lawsuit, which had challenged Trump's original ban signed in January, Hawaii federal court judge says.

Protesters chant during a rally against Trump's new travel ban at San Diego International Airport, March 6, 2017.
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson said on Wednesday that the state of Hawaii could file an amended complaint against U.S. President Donald Trump's new executive order temporarily banning refugees and travelers from some Muslim-majority countries. 

The judge in Hawaii federal court said that the state could add to its initial lawsuit, which had challenged Trump's original ban signed in January. The state is claiming a revised ban signed by the president on Monday violates the U.S. Constitution. 

Trump's first executive order signed on January 27 banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for 90 days and halted refugee admission for four months, barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. The order was hit with more than two dozen lawsuits, many that claimed it discriminated against Muslims.

The revised ban, which goes into effect on March 16, is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen does not apply to those who already have valid visas. The White House also dropped Iraq from the list of targeted countries, following pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, which had urged the White House to reconsider given Iraq's role in fighting ISIS.