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Hawaii Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order on Trump’s Travel Ban

Hours before the latest iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel order was set to go into effect, a federal judge in Hawaii ruled Wednesday to issue a temporary nationwide restraining order on it, Reuters reports.

United States District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling will temporarily prevent the executive order, which suspends the entry of refugees and freezes the issuance of visas to travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, from being implemented on Thursday.

The State of Hawaii argued that the order violated the establishment clause of the Constitution by discriminating against travelers based on nationality, and would prove financially damaging to the state, where tourism constitutes about 21 percent of its economy. Though a record 8.7 million vacationed there in 2015, the state estimates that only about 6,800 people from the Middle East and 2,000 from Africa visited the state that year.

Ultimately, Watson sided with the state. In his decision, he wrote that “a reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”

Last month, a federal judge in Seattle blocked a more sweeping version of the same order, signaling the start of what would be a protracted legal battle for the Trump administration.