By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland have issued orders that have temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban against refugees and immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries, including Somalia.

The Hawaii judge cited Trump’s comments during the 2016 campaign, in when he specifically referenced keeping Muslims out of the country, as evidence the intent of the ban was discriminatory.

Local Somali groups are hailing the ruling as a victory.

Meanwhile, at a Nashville rally, Trump blasted the judges’ orders.

“This ruling makes us look weak, which by the way we no longer are,” he said Wednesday. “We are going to fight this terrible ruling. We are going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way to the Supreme Court.”

In Minnesota’s Somali communities, the judges’ ruling is a relief.

“We are very happy,” said Mohamed Farah, the executive director of Ka Joog, a Somali youth group that works to counter extremism. “We are definitely going to keep resisting.”

Last month, the Somali youth group turned down a $500,000 federal grant because of the president’s policies.

“We as Americans should be scared about what this president is doing and what he is going to do,” Farah said. “We should come together and resist.”

Legal experts say the block on the travel ban will remain in place during the appeals process, which could take months.

But because this revised travel ban is more narrow than the first, it’s possible the president could eventually prevail.

“The first one was crystal clear,” Hamline law professor Joe Daly said. “You could be a first year law student and see this is unconstitutional, this [new] one is not so clear.”

Daly said the law allows the higher courts to do what the Hawaiian federal judge did: consider past comments by not only the president, but his aides.

“When you look at the historical context, the purpose seems clear: Let’s keep Muslims from coming in here,” Daily said.

If an appeal by the president makes it to the Supreme Court, the court at the moment has only eight members. If a high court ruling ends in a 4-4 tie, that means the lower court ruling would stand.


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