USAToday – President Trump’s temporary travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries was dealt another blow Thursday after a federal judge in Maryland suspended a portion of the ban that prevented visas being issued to nationals of the six countries.
The Maryland decision follows a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday, although it is narrower in scope.
In the Hawaii ruling, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued a nationwide halt to the ban that would have barred new visas and prevented the admission of new refugees. It was a stinging rebuke of Trump’s second attempt to institute the controversial order just hours before it was to take effect.
The executive order, signed by Trump on March 6, bars citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. It includes several changes from the original ban struck down in court. The new order would have removed Iraq from the list.
Watson wrote in his ruling that the federal government had not proved the ban was needed to protect the U.S. from terrorists trying to infiltrate the country through legal immigration or the refugee program. He wrote that despite changes made by the White House to the new ban, it clearly violated constitutional protections of religion based on comments made by Trump during his presidential campaign.