U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson has extended a national ban pertaining to the Trump administration’s latest immigration executive order, likely sending the case to the full Ninth Circuit for consideration.
Watson, based in Hawaii, said late Wednesday that he was converting his original temporary restraining order into an injunction. The Trump administration is expected to appeal the ruling, which will move the case on to the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court.
Link: Read Full Ruling
Judge Watson granted the request from the state of Hawaii and an individual, agreeing with them that their arguments would likely succeed on First Amendment grounds. Watson also said comments made by President Trump and government officials after his original executive orders was changed remain a factor in the case.
“The Court recognizes that it is not the case that the Administration’s past conduct must forever taint any effort by it to address the security concerns of the nation,” Watson said. “Based upon the preliminary record available, however, one cannot conclude that the actions taken during the interval between revoked Executive Order No. 13,769 and the new Executive Order represent ‘genuine changes in constitutionally significant conditions.’”
In his original ruling, Watson said he believed that extensive evidence showed the President and key aides intended the revised order, as well as the original version, to have been based on “animus” toward Muslims. He found that this interpretation outweighed government claims that the orders were intended to protect the nation from the threat of terrorism.
The appeal under normal procedure will go first to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – the same tribunal that earlier rejected an administration objection to the Seattle judge’s order ending enforcement of the original Trump executive order.
The government, though, does have the option of asking the Supreme Court to allow an initial appeal directly to the Justices, bypassing the Ninth Circuit Court.