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Judge to Consider Travel Ban Extension 03/29 06:09

   HONOLULU (AP) -- A federal judge in Hawaii who temporarily blocked President 
Donald Trump's revised travel ban planned to hear arguments Wednesday on 
whether to extend his order until the state's lawsuit works its way through the 

   But even if U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson does not issue a 
longer-lasting hold on the ban, the temporary block would stay in place until 
he rules otherwise. Legal experts say it is unlikely Watson would side with the 
Trump administration.

   The state says the policy discriminates against Muslims, while the 
government says it falls within Trump's power to protect national security.

   Here's a look at what led up to Wednesday's hearing in Honolulu:



   This month, Watson prevented the federal government from suspending new 
visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and freezing the nation's 
refugee program. The ruling came just hours before the ban was to take effect.

   Watson, nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama in 2012, 
agreed with Hawaii that the ban would hurt the state's tourism-dependent 
economy and that it discriminates based on nationality and religion.

   Trump called the ruling an example of "unprecedented judicial overreach."

   The next day, a judge in Maryland also blocked the six-nation travel ban but 
said it wasn't clear that the suspension of the refugee program was similarly 
motivated by religious bias.

   The federal government appealed the Maryland ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit 
Court of Appeals and sought to narrow the Hawaii ruling.



   The state has urged Watson to extend his ruling until the lawsuit is 

   "And after the repeated stops and starts of the last two months, it would 
ensure that the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs, and of Muslim citizens 
throughout the United States, could be finally and fully vindicated," lawyers 
for the state said in a court filing.

   Ismail Elshikh, the imam of a Honolulu mosque, has joined the legal 
challenge, saying the ban would prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting 
family in the U.S.



   The Department of Justice opposes Hawaii's request to extend Watson's 
temporary order. But the department said that if the judge agrees, he should 
narrow the ruling to cover only the part of Trump's executive order that 
suspends new visas for people from Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.

   Hawaii's lawsuit doesn't show how the state would be harmed by other 
sections of the ban, including suspending the refugee program, government 
attorneys said in court papers.

   Other parts of the travel ban "do not apply to plaintiffs at all, but 
instead simply facilitate the government's ability to identify and fix 
potential gaps in the nation's vetting procedures," Trump lawyers wrote.

   Trump's revised executive order involves "a detailed review of the national 
security risks that pose the greatest threats to the nation, and it then 
provided targeted measures to address those security risks in a religiously 
neutral manner," government lawyers say in court documents.



   The president is asking the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to put the 
ruling by the judge in Maryland on hold while it considers the case.

   The Richmond, Virginia-based appeals court will hear arguments May 8. If the 
court sides with the federal government, it would not have a direct effect on 
the Hawaii ruling, legal experts said.

   The Trump administration's best bet for saving the travel ban is to have the 
case go before the U.S. Supreme Court, said Richard Primus, a professor of 
constitutional law at the University of Michigan law school.

   "What a ruling in 4th Circuit in favor of the administration would do is 
create a split in authority between federal courts in different parts of the 
country," he said. "Cases with splits in authority are cases the U.S. Supreme 
Court exists to resolve."


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