Trump decries federal judge's ruling, calls it 'judicial overreach'

| Updated: Mar 16, 2017 14:04 IST

Nashville [U.S.A.], Mar. 16 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday decried the ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii, which blocks his new travel ban, during a rally here, introducing the statement as "the bad, the sad news." "The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first one. In the opinion of many, this is an unprecedented 'judicial overreach'," he said, before pledging to take the issue to the Supreme Court if necessary, as reported by CNN. Earlier, hours before Trump's new travel ban was set to go into effect, a Hawaii federal judge blocked the ruling, which states that travellers from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees will be able to travel to the U.S. In a 43-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson concluded that the new executive order failed to pass legal muster at this stage and the state had established "a strong likelihood of success" on their claims of religious discrimination. After multiple federal courts blocked its implementation last month, Trump administration took over a month to rewrite the travel ban order, which unlike the previous executive order, removed Iraq from the list of banned countries, exempted those with green cards and visas and removed a provision that arguably prioritises certain religious minorities. "The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targetting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed," Watson wrote in his ruling. "Equally flawed is the notion that the Executive Order cannot be found to have targetted Islam because it applies to all individuals in the six referenced countries. 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 percent to 99.8 percent. It would, therefore, be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam. Certainly, it would be inappropriate to conclude, as the Government does, that it does not," he added. The Justice Department, however, said it will defend the new travel ban. "The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the federal district court's ruling, which is flawed both in reasoning and in 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," DOJ said in a statement. Several states and immigration advocates have said the new order still suffers from legal flaws and asked federal judges to weigh in by issuing temporary restraining orders blocking the ban before Thursday. Federal judges in several states, including Maryland and Washington state, are also in the process of evaluating challenges to the revised travel ban, but may defer ruling in light of the nationwide ruling in Hawaii. The new ban will ban people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. (ANI)