A United States federal judge in Hawaii issued an emergency halt to the U.S.President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, hours before it was set to be implemented.
The stop Order by Judge Derrick Watson is the latest legal blow to the administration’s efforts to temporarily ban refugees as well as travellers from six predominantly Muslim countries.
Trump has said the travel ban is needed for national security. It was planned to go into effect from today.
Trump has lashed out at the judge’s ruling, saying it “makes us look weak.”
The American president signed the new ban on March 6 in a bid to overcome legal problems with a January executive order that caused chaos at airports and sparked mass protests before a Washington judge stopped its enforcement in February.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson put an emergency stop to the new order in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Hawaii, which argued that the order discriminated against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Watson concluded in his ruling that while the order did not mention Islam by name, “a reasonable, objective observer … would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.” Watson was appointed to the bench by former Democratic President Barack Obama.
Trump described the judge’s block “unprecedented judicial overreach” and said he will take the case “as far as it needs to go,” including the U.S. Supreme Court.