Date
24 September 2017
Tourists and locals play on Ko'Olina beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The state is challenging the new travel ban on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. Photo: Reuters
Tourists and locals play on Ko'Olina beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The state is challenging the new travel ban on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. Photo: Reuters

US judge allows Hawaii to challenge Trump’s new travel ban

The state of Hawaii can sue over President Donald Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning the entry of refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

US District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii said the state could revise its initial lawsuit, which had challenged Trump’s original ban signed in January, according to Reuters.

The state is claiming the revised ban signed by the president on Monday violates the US Constitution. It is the first legal challenge to the revised order.

The state of Hawaii will ask the court on Wednesday to put an emergency halt to Trump’s new order, according to a court schedule signed by the judge. A hearing is set for March 15, a day before the new ban is to go into effect.

The government has said the president has wide authority to implement immigration policy and that the travel rules are necessary to protect against terrorist attacks.

Some legal experts have said court challenges will be more difficult now because changes to the order give exemptions to more people.

The revised travel order changed and replaced an original, more sweeping ban issued on Jan. 27 that caused chaos and protests at airports and was challenged in more than two dozen lawsuits around the country.

A federal judge in Seattle put the first order on hold, in a decision upheld by an appeals court in San Francisco.

The new order is much more narrowly tailored. It keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, but excludes Iraq and applies the restriction only to new visa applicants. It also removed an indefinite ban on all refugees from Syria.

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