Judge: Newest travel ban 'same maladies' as previous version

FILE- In this June 30, 2017, file photo, critics of President Donald Trump's travel ban hold signs during a news conference in Honolulu. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii's request to temporarily block the policy from taking effect Wednesday. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

The Associated Press

Just hours before President Donald Trump's latest travel ban was to take full effect, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the revised order, saying the policy has the same problems as a previous version.

The revised order "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor," U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson wrote in his ruling, which prevented the Trump administration from enforcing the travel ban set to go into effect early Wednesday.

It was the third set of travel restrictions issued by the president to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts.

Watson's Tuesday ruling said the new ban, like its predecessor, fails to show that nationality alone makes a person a greater security risk to the U.S.

"The categorical restrictions on entire populations of men, women and children, based upon nationality, are a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of 'public-safety and terrorism-related information' that the president identifies," Watson wrote.

He said the ban is inconsistent in the way some countries are included or left out. For example, Iraq failed to meet the security benchmark but was omitted from the ban. Somalia met the information-sharing benchmark but was included.

The ban, which was announced in September, applied to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with some Venezuelan government officials and their families.

The Trump administration said the ban was based on an assessment of each country's security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the ruling "dangerously flawed" and said it "undercuts the president's efforts to keep the American people safe." The Justice Department said it will quickly appeal.

The judge's ruling applies only to the six Muslim-majority countries on the list. It does not affect the restrictions against North Korea or Venezuela, because Hawaii did not ask for that.

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