Judge Backs Down on Travel Ban
President Donald Trump obtained a partial victory Monday in his mission to protect Americans from potential acts of terror when the federal judge in Hawaii who issued an injunction against his revised travel ban three months ago backed down and reversed some (though not all) of his original ruling.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson, a prior Harvard law school classmate of former President President Barack Obama, specifically nullified the parts of the injunction “that barred the administration from conducting internal reviews of other countries’ vetting procedures,” according to CNN.
However, Watson didn’t necessarily perform this reversal because he experienced a change of heart but rather because he was prodded by a lower court.
When a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his injunction last week, the justices added a complaint about how Watson’s ruling “was not narrowly tailored to addressing only the harms alleged.”
“For example, internal determinations regarding the necessary information for visa application adjudications do not have an obvious relationship to the constitutional rights at stake or statutory conflicts at issue here,” the justices wrote. “Plaintiffs have not shown how the government’s internal review of its vetting procedures will harm them.”
This criticism presumably prompted Watson to issue his modification. But while his unexpected reversal represented a “narrow, but significant victory for the government,” as noted by CNN legal analyst Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, there was a glaring caveat.