A federal judge in Maryland has blocked President Donald Trump’s new travel ban, finding it still tainted by religious discrimination.
US District Judge Theodore D. Chuang – who also blocked travel ban 2.0 – did not go as far as the judge in Hawaii on Tuesday and has only extended his order to “individuals with a bona fide relationship with an individual or entity in the United States.”
Chuang was not persuaded by the Trump administration’s claim the new travel ban was “cured” of “religious animus,” concluding his various positive statements about Islam did not in “any way repudiate the president’s prior intention to impose a Muslim ban. Particularly where, in August 2017, President Trump tweeted a statement that a method hostile to Islam — shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood — should be used to deter future terrorism, there is no record of public statements showing any change in the president’s intentions relating to a Muslim ban.”
Chuang also found the new travel ban “imposed a permanent, rather than temporary, ban on immigrants from the designated countries and has effectively stopped the issuance of immigrant visas indefinitely” and said “the bar on entry is the equivalent of a ban on issuing immigrant visas based on nationality.”
Chuang issued a preliminary injunction, which is also procedurally distinct from Judge Derrick Watson’s order in Hawaii and has no expiration date.
“Like the two versions before it, President Trump’s latest travel ban is still a Muslim ban at its core. And, like the two before it, this one is going down to defeat in the courts. Religious discrimination with window dressing is still unconstitutional,” said ACLU attorney Omar Jadwat, among those who argued the case in court Monday.
The Justice Department vowed to appeal the Hawaii ruling Tuesday but did not immediately react to the Maryland case.