U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang says the Trump administration had “not shown that national security cannot be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions tells senators, “The order is lawful, necessary and we are proud to defend it.
A federal judge in Maryland granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the latest iteration of President Trump’s travel ban, after a similar order by a federal judge in Hawaii. U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang said the administration had “not shown that national security cannot be maintained without an unprecedented eight-country travel ban,” reports Politico. In a 91-page order, Chuang cited the president’s tweets and statements as evidence the third version of the policy carried the same intent as the Muslim ban Trump backed on the campaign trail.
“To the extent that the Government might have provided additional evidence to establish that national security is now the primary purpose for the travel ban, it has not done so,” Chuang wrote. “Of course, even if such evidence was forthcoming, its value in obviating the taint of the earlier Executive Orders would be limited.” The third version of the ban, announced in September, places travel restrictions on six majority-Muslim nations — Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — as well as two other countries, North Korea and Venezuela. The restrictions against the latter two nations affect few travelers, however. The Justice Department will appeal both the Hawaii and Maryland decisions. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning, said, “The president’s executive order is an important step in ensuring that we know who is coming into our country. The order is lawful, necessary and we are proud to defend it. … We are confident that we will ultimately prevail.”