Judicial Ruling
Issued on March 15, 2017

Policy Summary

Judge Derrick Watson of the Federal District Court in Honolulu issued a temporary restraining order that halted the travel ban nationwide.The revised travel ban executive order titled: “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” was signed on March 6th. In his ruling, Judge Watson concluded that the plaintiff, Ismail Elshikh, had his first amendment rights violated on the basis of religious discrimination. Judge Watson drew extensively on past quotes from President Trump, pushing back against the administration’s insistence that only the text of the order itself was relevant. Judge Watson also rejected the administration’s insistence that the order was drafted in the interest of National Security, ruling that National Security only served as a pretext for the order. LEARN MORE


The ruling highlights how Trump’s extreme statements, such as his call for a total shutdown of Muslim immigration, can come back to haunt him, hindering the implementation of his policy agenda. Furthermore, after learning of the ruling, Trump stated that the second travel ban was “just a watered-down version of the first.” These statements serve to undermine the very arguments that his administration is using to defend the ban. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that Judge Watson’s ruling is only temporary, as the administration is currently appealing the ruling. It is very likely that the Supreme Court will have the final say over the legality of the travel ban.

Engagement Resources

  • U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants – USCRI Is committed to helping serve refugees both at home and abroad. To get involved you could donate, volunteer or even mentor a refugee family.
  • Sunrise USA – Sunrise USA is a nonprofit that supports Syrians who are both internally and externally displaced. They provide food, support education, establish trauma-care facilities, and facilitate orphan sponsorships.
  • Attend a Town Hall – Attend a town hall near you, and voice your opposition to the travel ban directly to your representative.

This brief was compiled by William Lucier. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact william@usresistnews.org.



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