Executive Order (EO) 13780, also known as Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, is the second version of an earlier EO signed into law by the current president. The last version was challenged by the ACLU where Judge James Robart of Washington issued a temporary restraining order against it. After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order, the current administration decided to state in court that they would replace the EO with a second one.
However, as soon as the new EO came out, most people noticed it wasn’t much different from the previous version. It still applied against visa applicants from all the Muslim-majority countries except for Iran for 90 days, and suspended the admission of refugees for 120 days.
On March 7, 2017, the state of Hawaii brought a civil action challenging the EO and asking for declaratory judgment and an injunction halting the order. The state’s attorney general, Doug Chin, stated the new order was another excuse for a Muslim ban issued under the “pretense of national security.” The complaint lists 8 specific causes of action, including several violations of the 5th Amendment for Due Process and alleges that it violates the Establishment Clause. The District Court in Hawaii placed another nationwide injunction or hold on President Trump’s Executive Order because, among other reasons, it found that it was likely to be successful on the merits of violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. One of the reason it found that it violated the U.S. Establishment Clause is because it found it discriminated against the Muslim religion and cited, among other things, President Trump’s own campaign statement calling it a ban on Muslims. Other courts across the United States have also issued different rulings on the revised ban, including Maryland and Virginia. A hearing to consider an appeal is schedule for May 8th at the 4th-circuit court of appeals. The issue of whether this second Executive Order issuing a travel ban may be appealed and eventually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Therefore, if this travel ban affects you, family members or friends, it will be important to consult with an attorney and also continue to monitor the process of any potential future decisions by the federal courts.