The travel ban that President Trump himself referred to as a “watered-down” version of the original has been blocked by federal judges in two states — Hawaii and Maryland — sending the president into a tizzy and setting up a potential Supreme Court showdown.
Judge Derrick K. Watson, of the Federal District Court in Honolulu, was the first to rule on the Trump administration’s second travel ban, saying that a “reasonable, objective observer” could conclude that the ban was “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose,” TheNew York Times reports.
Not long after that ruling, a federal judge in the state of Maryland, Judge Theodore D. Chuang, came to a similar conclusion — albeit around 2 a.m. EST.
Chuang called the travel ban — which would severely limit immigration from six Muslim-majority countries — “the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban.”
The Trump administration has said it plans to take the case to the Supreme Court as Trump called the Hawaii ruling “unprecedented judicial overreach” at a rally in Nashville.
"The illogic of the Government's contentions is palpable" pic.twitter.com/1euwC5xkYt— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 15, 2017
After the ruling, Trump supporters took to Twitter to call for backers of the travel ban to #BoycottHawaii. Other commentators pointed out the irony that it was Barack Obama’s home state that blocked the travel ban from going into effect.
It's somewhat poetic that a judge from the state which issued Obama's birth certificate slammed the door on Trump's Muslim Ban.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 16, 2017
The ban was expected to go into effect beginning at midnight Thursday, but the federal ruling in Hawaii prevented it from going through — at least for now.
Another federal court in Washington state is currently hearing cases that deal with whether the travel ban is constitutional, the Times reports.
Though these rulings have again temporarily stayed the travel ban, it appears that this is a fight that could come to define the Trump administration’s first months (and perhaps even years) in office.
A rendez-vous in the Supreme Court is seeming more and more likely.