1. Florida Politics

Judge allows travel ban lawsuit by Hawaii to move forward

Published Mar. 8, 2017

HONOLULU — Hawaii has filed an amended federal lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

The amended suit was filed Tuesday, a day after Trump signed an executive order for the revised ban that will restrict travel by people from six Muslim-majority countries.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson on Wednesday granted the state's request to continue with the case and set a hearing for March 15 — the day before Trump's revised ban is due to go into effect.

The judge will also hear arguments from the state on a motion to impose a temporary restraining order that would prevent the ban from taking place until the lawsuit has been resolved.

The lawsuit says the revised travel ban will harm the Muslim population of Hawaii as well as schools and employers.

The state's previous suit had been on hold while a nationwide injunction on the initial ban remained in place.

The president's new order bars new visas for people from the six countries and temporarily shuts down America's refugee program, affecting would-be visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

Hawaii's complaint says it is suing to protect its residents, businesses and schools, as well as its "sovereignty against illegal actions of President Donald J. Trump and the federal government."

Imam Ismail Elshikh of the Muslim Association of Hawaii became a plaintiff in the state's initial lawsuit. His mother-in-law is a Syrian national living in that country.

Trump's "executive order inflicts a grave injury on Muslims in Hawaii, including Dr. Elshikh, his family, and members of his mosque," the lawsuit states.

Hawaii has hired a Washington, D.C., law firm to help with the lawsuit. Josh Wisch, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, has said the firm is giving the state a 50 percent discount on its services.

"This new executive order is nothing more than Muslim Ban 2.0," Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin said in a statement Monday. "Under the pretense of national security, it still targets immigrants and refugees."