President Donald Trump's new immigration order targeting six Muslim-majority countries was dealt another legal blow Thursday when a federal judge in Maryland rejected one of its key components.
The initial travel ban, released on January 27, indefinitely blocked citizens from Syria from entering the USA, and barred the entry of citizens of six other countries-Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen-for 90 days.
The revised ban would have temporarily shut down the United States Refugee Admission Program and restricted people from six Muslim-majority countries from receiving visas for 90 days.
Refugees were blocked from entering the country for 120 days in both orders, but an indefinite ban on all refugees from Syria was dropped in the new one. You don't think this was done by a judge for a political reason? The Hawaii decision will be heard by the same court that struck down the first ban in February.
Herring has joined attorneys general from 13 other states in filing a brief in support of Hawaii's bid to halt enforcement of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban. According to the Washington Post, the same federal judge who issued that stay is now considering challenges to the revised version.
He went on to critcise the Ninth Circuit court, which is a federal court which can review decisions and change the outcome of rulings from a number of United States district courts. "We're going to keep our citizens safe".
The first version said it would "prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality".
Watson further said Hawaii has a "strong likelihood of success" on its case that Trump's order violates the First Amendment's establishment clause, which protects against religious discrimination.
"The history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the goal of the Second Executive Order remains the realisation of the long-envisioned Muslim ban", the Maryland judge wrote, according to the Washington Post.
Mr Trump has denied the orders are a Muslim ban.
Trump slammed the rulings, calling them "unprecedented judicial overreach".
"It is hard to see how his analysis would ever permit the executive branch to impose any immigration policy that has any effect on predominantly Muslim countries - no matter how small", said Josh Blackman, an associate professor at the South Texas School of Law in Houston.
"It's not the Muslim ban", he told ABC News. "But it's countries that have tremendous terror... countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems".