The Hawaii federal judge who blocked portions of President Trump’s revised Muslim travel ban two weeks ago, ruled to extend the hold indefinitely on Wednesday. The latest legal setback for Trump’s plan could provoke a presidential meltdown on Twitter. Judge Derrick Watson’s initial, temporary hold, issued on March 15th hours before the ban was to be implemented, was set to expire, by federal law, after 14 days. The Wednesday ruling granting a preliminary injunction means the portions of the Trump executive order targeting individuals from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as refugees, will be not be enforced until the case makes its way through the court system.
“At a hearing in Honolulu on Wednesday, federal lawyers asked Watson to either dismiss that order or narrow the restrictions to apply to fewer parts of the travel ban,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Instead, Watson said he would turn the order into a preliminary injunction, which has the effect of extending his order blocking the travel ban for a longer period. Watson said he would keep intact the restrictions on the travel ban—a block of its 90-day moratorium on travel to the U.S. from nationals of six majority-Muslim countries, and its 120-day pause on new refugee resettlement.”
If the government decides to appeal the decision, the Justice Department would find itself back before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the same body that upheld opposition to Trump’s first attempt at a Muslim Ban.