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Federal judge blocks Trump’s new travel ban, hours before it was set to go into effect

HONOLULU, Hawaii– A federal judge issued Wednesday, March 15th, a nationwide temporary restraining order on President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban hours before it was set to go into effect.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued his ruling after hearing arguments on Hawaii’s request for a temporary retraining order involving the ban.

The ruling applies nationwide, meaning that travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees will be able to travel to the U.S.

President Trump’s new executive¬†order was scheduled to go into effect Thursday. Judge Watson’s ruling prevents that from happening.

The Trump administration took more than a month to rewrite the ban after multiple federal courts blocked its implementation last month. The new order removed Iraq from the list of banned countries, exempted people with green cards and visas from non-entry, and removed a provision that was thought to prioritize certain religious minorities.

Judge Watson wrote the new order is still illegal, in part that, “The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”

“Equally flawed is the notion that the Executive Order cannot be found to have targeted Islam because it applies to all individuals in the six referenced countries,” Watson added. “It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%. It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam.”

The White House did not immediately comment on Watson’s ruling, but the Trump administration has said the ban is necessary to protect the nation’s security.