A second judge in as many days blocked implementation of President Donald Trump’s most recent travel ban.
On Thursday, a federal judge in Maryland sided with Trump’s opponents, who argue that his previous rhetoric about a “Muslim ban” proves the intent of the executive order is unconstitutional.
“The history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the purpose of the Second Executive Order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban,” Judge Theodore D. Chuang wrote.
As for the revisions to the initial order, designed to help it pass muster with the courts, Chuang added, “the Trump Administration acknowledged that the core substance of the First Executive Order remained intact.”
The ruling by Chuang, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, applies only to the section of Trump’s executive order temporarily barring entry to the United States of people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
It is less sweeping than the Wednesday ruling in Hawaii by Judge Derrick Watson, another Obama appointee, that froze the entire order from taking effect on Thursday as scheduled.
Speaking in Tennessee just hours after Watson issued his injunction, Trump called the move to block his “watered-down” executive order “unprecedented judicial overreach,” and vowed to fight his case all the way to the Supreme Court.
Trump’s insistence on pushing his travel ban is likely not surprising to many Americans. In December, 42 percent of registered voters told Morning Consult they thought Trump would keep his promise to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States, according to a Morning Consult poll. Still, during the campaign, four in 10 Americans said they thought such a measure was unconstitutional, polling shows.
Fifty-six percent of voters said they approved of the most recent ban, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey conducted March 9 through March 13.