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Defying Death Threats, Federal Judge In Hawaii Extends Order Blocking Trump’s Travel Ban

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Defying Death Threats, Federal Judge In Hawaii Extends Order Blocking Trump’s Travel Ban

Just days after being bombarded with death threats, a Federal Judge in Hawaii who temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban issued a longer-lasting order Wednesday.

According to The Washington Post, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson held a hearing Wednesday on Hawaii’s request to extend his temporary hold. Several hours later, he issued a 24-page order blocking the government from suspending new visas for travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and from halting the U.S. refugee program.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin argued that even though the revised ban has more neutral language, the implied intent remains. He likened it to a neon sign flashing “Muslim Ban,” which the government hasn’t turned off.

This month, Watson prevented the federal government from suspending new visas for people from six countries and freezing the nation’s refugee program. The ruling came just hours before the ban was to take effect.

Watson, nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama in 2012, agreed with Hawaii that the ban would hurt the state’s tourism-dependent economy and that it discriminates based on nationality and religion.

Trump called the ruling an example of “unprecedented judicial overreach.”

The Trump administration issued a statement Thursday saying it strongly disagrees with the ruling. “The President’s Executive Order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our Nation’s security, and the Department will continue to defend this Executive Order in the courts,” the statement said.

Other states have also struck down president Trump’s executive order. A judge in Maryland blocked the six-nation travel ban but said it wasn’t clear that the suspension of the refugee program was similarly motivated by religious bias.

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