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Hawaii Is First to File Lawsuit Against Trump’s Revised Travel Ban

Posted on Mar 8, 2017

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

  Civil and human rights experts say the new ban is essentially a scaled-down reprise of Trump’s original executive order. (Ted Eytan / CC 2.0)

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Hawaii filed the first legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban on Tuesday, asking a judge to temporarily block his executive order the day after it was signed.

The court filing from the office of Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin argues that the ban—which blocks travelers from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.—is resulting in “the establishment of religion in the state of Hawaii contrary to its Constitution.”

It is also “inflicting immediate damage to Hawaii’s economy, educational institutions, and tourism industry; and it is subjecting a portion of the state’s citizens to second-class treatment and discrimination, while denying all Hawaii residents the benefits of an inclusive and pluralistic society,” the document, filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, states.


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Hawaii asked Judge Derrick K. Watson for an expedited hearing on the motion to file the temporary restraining order. If he agrees, the court will be able to hear the state’s arguments before the ban goes into effect on March 16.

Neal Katyal, a Washington, D.C. attorney who is representing the state, tweeted Tuesday, “Here we go. Proud to stand w/State of Hawaii challenging Pres.Trump’s ‘new’ Executive Order issued yesterday.”


The order blocks travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days, and all refugees for 120 days.

It also exempts permanent residents and current visa-holders.

But civil and human rights experts say it is essentially a scaled-down reprise of Trump’s original memo, which banned the six countries in addition to Iraq, and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely—leading to its now-infamous “Muslim ban” moniker.

“It’s about discrimination,” Chin said at a press conference Tuesday. “It’s discriminating against people based on their national origin or based on their religion. It’s disenfranchising people who are not of the majority race or majority religion. It puts them in a place that smears their culture or a religion that is not accepted by everyone else. And that’s wrong.”

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