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Thu Mar 16, 2017, 10:13 AM

Highlights From Court Ruling Halting Trumps Revised Travel Ban

Highlighting the highlights... Thank God for Judge Derrick K. Watson of United States District Court in Honolulu...

Highlights From Court Ruling Halting Trump’s Revised Travel Ban

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. … 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. Certainly, it would be inappropriate to conclude, as the Government does, that it does not....

The record before this Court is unique. It includes significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation of the Executive Order and its related predecessor....

The Government appropriately cautions that, in determining purpose, courts should not look into the “veiled psyche” and “secret motives” of government decisionmakers and may not undertake a “judicial psychoanalysis of a drafter’s heart of hearts.” … The Government need not fear. The remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry. For instance, there is nothing “veiled” about this press release: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”...

Any reasonable, objective observer would conclude, as does the Court for purposes of the instant Motion for TRO, that the stated secular purpose of the Executive Order is, at the very least, “secondary to a religious objective” of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims....

Other indicia of pretext asserted by Plaintiffs include the delayed timing of the Executive Order, which detracts from the national security urgency claimed by the Administration, and the Executive Order’s focus on nationality, which could have the paradoxical effect of “bar[ring] entry by a Syrian national who has lived in Switzerland for decades, but not a Swiss national who has immigrated to Syria during its civil war,” revealing a “gross mismatch between the [Executive] Order’s ostensible purpose and its implementation and effects.”...

Dr. Elshikh has made a preliminary showing of direct, concrete injuries to the exercise of his Establishment Clause rights. … These alleged injuries have already occurred and likely will continue to occur upon implementation of the Executive Order....

As discussed above, Plaintiffs have shown a strong likelihood of succeeding on their claim that the Executive Order violates First Amendment rights under the Constitution. When considered alongside the constitutional injuries and harms discussed above, and the questionable evidence supporting the Government’s national security motivations, the balance of equities and public interests justify granting the Plaintiffs’ TRO....

Note to forum moderators and other interested parties: The only portions of the Times article quoted here are the words of Judge Watson, and, therefore, of the public domain and not subject to the Times' copyright. Therefore I feel justified in quoting more than four paragraphs of the judge's ruling.

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