U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Kahala Watson has converted his nationwide temporary restraining order against the implementation of President Donald Trump’s revised executive order banning immigration, refugees, and travel from Muslim-majority countries into an indefinite nationwide preliminary injunction. Judge Watson notes:
“…where the ‘historical context’ and ‘the specific sequence of events leading up to’ the adoption of the challenged Executive Order are as full of religious animus, invective, and obvious pretext as is the record here, it is no wonder that the Government urges the Court to altogether ignore that history and context….The Court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has. The Supreme Court and this Circuit both dictate otherwise, and that is the law this Court is bound to follow.”
Judge Watson concludes:
“National security is unquestionably of vital importance to the public interest. The same is true with respect to affording appropriate deference to the President’s constitutional and statutory responsibilities to set immigration policy and provide for the national defense. Upon careful consideration of the totality of the circumstances, however, the Court reaffirms its prior finding that the balance of equities and public interest weigh in favor of maintaining the status quo. As discussed above and in the TRO, Plaintiffs have shown a strong likelihood of succeeding on their claim that the Executive Order violates First Amendment rights under the Constitution.”
Judge Watson also specifically ruled that he would not stay his preliminary injunction order if the U.S. government filed any appeals.