Travel Ban III: District Court of Hawaii

On September 24, 2017, President Trump by proclamation enacted the third iteration of the travel ban. On October 17, 2017, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the District Court of Hawaii enjoined, i.e. stopped, on a nationwide basis the implementation and enforcement of the third travel ban (State v. Trump, 2017 WL 4639560 (D. Haw. Oct. 17, 2017)). See NY Times. Oct. 18, 2017, Third Try at a Travel Ban Meets a Similar Fate.

The Court held that the third travel ban suffered from the same shortcomings as the previous version – insufficient findings that “the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’” and that it “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the Ninth Circuit has found antithetical to both Section 1152(a) and the founding principles of this Nation.” Id. at *1. Specifically, the court held that (1) the ban’s purported findings bear no relation to the restrictions imposed and that (2) nationality cannot be used as a proxy for risk. Id. at *9 et seq. “[T]he categorical restrictions on entire populations of men, women, and children, based upon nationality… leads to absurd results” given that many nationals from affected countries are law-abiding and others from unaffected countries may pose risks. The ban is therefore “simultaneously overbroad and underinclusive.” Id. at *10. The court also noted that the ban is internally inconsistent by, e.g., noting that Iraq has the same issues as affected countries yet Iraq is not on the list of banned countries, or how the ban singles out certain visa holders but not others from affected countries without basis. Id. at *11.

On October 24, 2017, the government filed its notice of appeal, thereby requesting a review of this order by the Ninth Circuit.

On October 18, 2017 Maryland Federal District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted a similar injunction on both statutory and constitutional grounds (First Amendment Establishment Clause violation was likely to succeed at trial). See NY Times, Oct. 19, 2017, Second Federal Judge Blocks the Third Revision of the Travel Ban.