U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order on Trump’s order that prevents travelers from six mostly-Muslim countries entering the U.S. and suspends the United States’ worldwide refugee program.
Justice Department attorneys argued in a motion Friday that Watson's temporary restraining order was essentially based on the argument that the ban appears to unconstitutionally target Muslims.
They questioned whether his ruling was limited to the part of Trump’s March 6 executive order that temporarily bans visas to travel from the six countries into the U.S., and not to the temporary refugee ban.
Watson responded Sunday by saying there was nothing unclear about the scope of his order and that the ruling remains unchanged.
In its response to the Justice Department's motion, the state of Hawaii said motion was "substantively lacking" and procedurally out of order.
"The Government is, in effect, asking the Court to modify its existing injunction based on a proposed limitation that it could have -- but did not -- previously seek, and on the basis of arguments this Court has already rejected. The procedural defects are obvious," the state said.
There is no timetable for when Watson will rule beyond imposing the temporary restraining order on Trump’s executive order.
Judge rejects US request to clarify order halting travel ban
HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge on Sunday rejected the U.S. government's request to clarify his temporary order blocking President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said nothing was unclear about his order and the government can't ask for a distinction that officials failed to make in earlier briefs and arguments, according to online court records.
Watson issued the temporary restraining order Wednesday in response to a lawsuit from the state of Hawaii, concluding there was "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" behind the travel ban.
Two days later, the Justice Department asked Watson to clarify that the order only applied to the ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries and not a global freeze on refugees entering the United States.
Watson asked federal officials and Hawaii on Sunday how they want to proceed regarding a possible extension of his order.
Trump has called the Hawaii ruling an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach" and has indicated it will be appealed.
Similar cases are being heard in federal courts in Washington state and Maryland. In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to block the travel ban.