US President Donald Trump is firing back after a federal court struck down the new version of his controversial travel ban.
Hawaii federal judge Derrick Watson issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on Wednesday. The ruling came just hours before the revised executive order was to take effect, and over a month after a federal appeals court struck down the administration’s original order.
Watson, who blocked the latest attempt, said it was likely unconstitutional religious discrimination, reports CBS News.
At a campaign-style rally in Nashville Wednesday night, Trump made it clear he isn’t backing down.
“This is in the opinion of many an unprecedented judicial overreach,” Trump said.
The president pulled no punches in attacking the judge’s decision.
“This ruling makes us look weak,” he said, adding, “You don’t think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you? No?”
He even suggested the White House re-examine its original travel ban.
“I think we oughta go back to the first one and go all the way,” Trump said.
First executive order sparked protests at airports across the nation. Opponents called it a Muslim ban, and it was struck down by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Trump administration then revised the order, removing Iraq from the list of restricted countries -- exempting visa holders -- and eliminating language prioritising Christian immigrants. It would block visas from being issued to travellers from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days while the administration reviewed vetting procedures.
Watson, who was appointed by President Obama, blocked the revised ban, citing past commentary from Trump and his inner circle in his 43-page opinion, including White House senior advisor Stephen Miller’s assessment of the new revision last month: “Fundamentally, you’re still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country,” Miller told Fox News in February.
It also had Rudy Giuliani’s January comments on Fox News: “When he first announced it, he said ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up, he said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’”