Maui News

9th Circuit Upholds Block on Travel Ban, Hawaiʻi v. Trump Heads to High Court

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The Ninth Circuit Court of appeals today upheld a decision blocking President Donald Trump’s revised Muslim travel ban.

Background image, live stream from US Courts for the 9th Circuit. Maui Now graphic overlay.

The three-judge panel, consisting of Judge Ronald Gould, Judge Michael Hawkins, and Judge Richard Paez, heard arguments in May, and issued the unanimous ruling today against the president’s order.

Attorney General Chin issued ta statement in response saying, “I stated from the beginning that the President must act in a way that follows the laws and Constitution of the United States. Our system of checks and balances, enshrined in the Constitution for more than 225 years, remains in place.”

The opinion noted that, “[i]mmigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show” and that “[n]ational security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power” under federal immigration laws.

On May 15, 2017, the State of Hawaiʻi argued in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Hawaiʻi federal district court Judge Derrick K. Watson’s orders enjoining President Trump’s Executive Order nationwide.

US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaiʻi said the Ninth Circuit’s decision to uphold Judge Watson’s ruling against President Trump’s Muslim ban is “another win for the rule of law.”  He said, “The courts continue to affirm what we already know: the Muslim ban is un-American, unconstitutional, and contrary to everything we stand for.”

Fellow US Senator Mazie K Hirono, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also commented saying, “Court after court has seen this Muslim Ban for what it is: an illegal attack on a group of individuals singled out for their religion. Today is a victory not only for Hawaiʻi, but for our shared American values. The decision is a welcome reminder that the federal courts serve an invaluable function in our system of checks and balances.

“Although President’s Trump’s cabinet may think otherwise, today’s ruling affirms that judges in Hawaiʻi are more than capable of applying our laws and Constitution to President Trump’s dangerous policies. I’m proud that my home state has shown leadership in fighting against President Trump’s Muslim Ban.”


Gov. David Ige also commented saying, “Hawai‘i made the right decision in challenging a travel ban that had little factual basis and discriminated based strictly on national origin and religion. We will continue to stand against any attempts to erode the Constitution’s protections and to violate existing laws.”


The decision also comes as the US Supreme court considers another challenge relating to the travel ban.

On June 1, 2017, the Trump Administration asked the United States Supreme Court to stay the injunction in Hawaiʻi v. Trump that has blocked implementation of the travel ban. The State of Hawaiʻi filed its memorandum in opposition to that motion today.

Hawaiʻi’s memorandum in opposition states in part that the president’s order “disproportionately burdens Muslim-Americans, while denigrating the Muslim faith.” The state attorney general has called the order a constitutional violation.

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