March 15 (UPI) — A federal judge in Hawaii blocked implementation nationwide of President Donald Trump’s second executive order barring U.S. travel for refugees and immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries, calling it “fundamentally flawed.”
The order was set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
The case was one of three argued before federal judges Wednesday. A judge in Maryland promised to issue his ruling before Thursday and the judge in Washington state, who halted Trump’s first immigration order, also heard oral arguments on the revised version.
The second version of the order, issued March 6, was crafted in an attempt to address the issues that prompted the first version to be struck down, specifically that it applied a religious test to those permitted to enter the country.
In the revised order, the Trump administration pointed out that the ban applied to people of all religions in the affected countries, not only Muslims. The administration also argued the order did not create a religious test because the total number of Muslims affected by the ban only amounted to about 9 percent of the world population.
Federal District Judge Derrick K. Watson said the administration’s argument that the ban did not discriminate against Muslims because all religions were included did not pass muster.
“The illogic of the government’s intentions is palpable,” Watson wrote. “The notion that no one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”