Published: Sun, March 26, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Trump's Laptop Ban Is Proof His Hands Aren't Tied, Hawaii Says

Trump's Laptop Ban Is Proof His Hands Aren't Tied, Hawaii Says

Trenga said the travel ban likely "falls within the bounds" of Trump's authority as president, and he rejected a request to halt the order.

Since that ruling, Watson has received death threats and is now under 24-hour federal protection from the US Marshals Service.

"I'm not going to say anything here that would give anybody any idea how I'd rule in any case like that that could come before the Supreme Court or my court at the 10th Circuit", he said. And while the laptop ban, like the travel ban, can and does apply to people of other religious faiths, it seems clear that both will primarily adversely affect Muslims. While he did take Trump's campaign and other statements into account, in addition to those by advisers like Stephen Miller, Trenga concluded that the new order is clearly enough within the president's authority that the statements do not render it unconstitutional.

Specifically, Trenga ruled that the challenge to the executive order was unlikely to succeed on the statutory claim that the order violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the constitutional claims that it violates the Establishment Clause or the Equal Protection Clause.

The judge highlighted the changes made to narrow the scope of the travel ban after an initial version of the order was struck down by federal courts in January and February.

The U.S. Department of Justice responded to Trenga's decision.

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Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said her agency was pleased with ruling. "And while the president and his advisers have continued to make statements following the issuance of EO-1 [the first executive order] that have characterized or anticipated the nature of EO-2 [the revised ban] the court can not conclude for the purposes of the motion that these statements, together with the president's past statements, have effectively disqualified him from exercising his lawful presidential authority".

The original travel ban, signed January 27, was halted by federal district courts and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

At a hearing earlier this week, Judge Anthony Trenga questioned whether an injunction was necessary, given the fact that judges in Hawaii and Maryland have already blocked the vast majority of the executive order from taking effect. It also blocked the government's attempt to cap refugee resettlement and the compiling of a series of government studies and reports on how refugees and foreign visitors to the US are vetted.

Trump signed the revised travel ban order on March 6, after the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge's injunction against his initial January 27 executive action.

Two federal judges - one in Maryland and one in Hawaii - have blocked implementation of the core provisions of the travel ban, and it remains on hold nationwide.

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