A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Mr. Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam.
…in a pointed decision that repeatedly invoked Mr. Trump’s public comments, Judge Derrick K. Watson, of Federal District Court in Honolulu, wrote that a “reasonable, objective observer” would view even the new order as “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.”
In Maryland, Judge Theodore D. Chuang echoed that conclusion hours later, ruling in a case brought by nonprofit groups that work with refugees and immigrants, that the likely purpose of the executive order was “the effectuation of the proposed Muslim ban” that Mr. Trump pledged to enact as a presidential candidate.
…In addition to the Hawaii and Maryland suits, a federal judge in Washington State heard arguments Wednesday in cases challenging the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s order, including one brought by a coalition of Democratic attorneys general, and another by nonprofit groups.
…The lawsuits against the ban have extensively cited Mr. Trump’s comments during the presidential campaign. Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington, who successfully challenged Mr. Trump’s first order, has indicated that in an extended legal fight, he could seek depositions from administration officials and request documents that would expose the full process by which Trump aides crafted the ban.
As a candidate, Mr. Trump first proposed to bar all Muslims from entering the United States, and then offered an alternative plan to ban travel from a number of Muslim countries, which he described as a politically acceptable way of achieving the same goal.