Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal judges from Hawaii and Maryland have issued nationwide Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) effectively blocking the implementation of the Trump administration’s revised travel ban, which was scheduled to take effect on March 16, 2017.
Late on Wednesday, March 15, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the Federal District Court in Honolulu issued a nationwide TRO suspending the implementation of the Trump administration’s revised Executive Order (EO) and associated travel ban. Early Thursday morning, Maryland federal Judge Theodore D. Chang issued a separate TRO blocking key provisions of the EO from taking effect nationwide. Both decisions took the position that the revised EO violates the First Amendment because it was designed to discriminate against Muslims. According to Judge Watson, even the new order was “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.”
The revised EO would temporarily restrict certain foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entry into the United States for 90 days, aiming to resolve issues and ambiguities cited in the litigation related to the previous Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled that it will likely file an emergency appeal to the Federal Court of Appeals requesting that the TROs be overturned and that the EO be reinstated.
At present, foreign nationals who would have been impacted by the revised EO can be admitted to the United States. However, this situation remains fluid and can change any day. More information on the revised EO can be found in our prior alert on the topic. Seyfarth Shaw will continue to keep our clients informed on further developments.