US District Judge in Hawaii Derrick Watson, appointed by President Obama (also from Hawaii), on Wednesday placed a nationwide block on President Trump’s modified travel ban, hours before it was to take effect.

The Judge ruled that the plaintiffs, the state of Hawaii and a Muslim leader, had a “strong” likelihood of succeeding in suing the government over the ban, arguing that Trump’s executive order, banning for 90 days the entry of the citizens of 6 majority-Muslim travelers, violates the Establishment Clause, causing “irreparable harm.”


The judge issued a nation-wide, temporary restraining order, while he would be considering the lawsuit. The order includes a temporary suspension of the refugee resettlement program. The new order was going to take effect just after midnight Wednesday.

Trump, speaking at a Tennessee rally, declared: “We’re going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court. We’re going to win. The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear.”

More than five other states are suing to ban the revised executive order. Attorneys for the ACLU have argued that Trump’s statements during the campaign trail make it clear that the ban, even in its new format, is targeting Muslims.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of State Department data, a total of 2,466 refugees from the six countries under new travel restrictions – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – have resettled in the US since Donald Trump became president. When including refugees from countries with no travel restrictions, a total of 7,594 refugees have entered the US during Trump’s first seven weeks in office, 3,410 of whom are Muslims (45%) and 3,292 Christians (43%).