U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson of Hawaii froze President Trump’s new executive order that sought to temporarily bar the issuance of new visas to citizens from six Muslim-majority countries and suspend the admission of new refugees. Watson was one of three judges to hear arguments Wednesday about freezing the ban, including a federal judge in Maryland and the same federal judge in Washington who suspended Trump’s first travel ban. Lawyers in Hawaii argued the revised ban violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, because they deemed it to be essentially a Muslim ban, and hurts the ability of businesses and universities to recruit talent and damages Hawaii’s tourism industry. A federal judge on Thursday dealt an additional blow to the executive order by suspending the portion that prevents visas being issued to nationals of the six listed countries, citing comments made by the president throughout his campaign as reason to nix it.
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