Hawaiʻi First to Take Legal Action on Revised Travel Ban

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President Donald Trump’s official portrait from Wikimedia Commons.

Hawai‘i Attorney General Doug Chin announced on March 8 that the state has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in its federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump, following the new executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority nations issued earlier this week.

The filings ask the court to declare that sections 2 and 6 of the March 6, 2017, Executive Order signed by President Trump are contrary to the Constitution and US laws. The complaint asks for a nationwide injunction preventing the implementation of these sections of the Executive Order. The Executive Order restricts immigration from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen. It suspends all refugee admission for 120 days.

It is scheduled to become effective on March 16, 2017.

“We all want safety and security in our state,” said Attorney General Chin. “But discrimination against people based on national origin or religion is a very dark path we must never accept. Respectfully, the new order fails to fix the initial defect.”


The Hawai‘i filing argues the following:

“[W]hile the President signed a revised version on March 6 …  we still know exactly what it means. It is another attempt by the Administration to enact a discriminatory ban that goes against the fundamental teachings of our Constitution and our immigration laws, even if it is cloaked in ostensibly neutral terms. Strikingly, the Executive Order even admits that these changes were designed to ‘avoid * * * litigation.’

Nothing of substance has changed: There is the same blanket ban on entry from Muslim-majority countries (minus one), the same sweeping shutdown of refugee admissions (absent one exception), and the same lawless warren of exceptions and waivers. The courts did not tolerate the Administration’s last attempt to hoodwink the judiciary, and they should not countenance this one.”

The second amended complaint alleges the following causes of action:


Defendants have violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Defendants have violated the equal protection, substantive due process, and procedural due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment.

Sections 2 and 6 of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order violate the Immigration and Nationality Act by discriminating on the basis of nationality, ignoring and modifying the statutory criteria for determining terrorism-related inadmissibility, and exceeding the President’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Defendants have violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion.


Defendants have violated the substantive and procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Copies of the second amended complaint, motion for a temporary restraining order, and memorandum in support of the motion for a temporary restraining order can be downloaded:

Second Amended Complaint
Memorandum in Support
Motion for TRO

Hawai‘i to Pursue Legal Action on Travel Ban

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