State of Hawai'i vs President Trump: March 15

Mar 9, 2017

Attorney General Doug Chin briefed news media on upcoming U.S. District Court hearing.
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i will be the first state to challenge President Trump’s revised travel ban in federal court next week.    The announcement was made today at a news conference.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Federal Judge Derrick Watson will hear arguments next Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu in the State of Hawai’i’s federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s revised executive order.   The order, which is scheduled to be implemented March 16th, will temporarily halt the issuance of new visas from six Muslim-majority countries:  Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.   State Attorney General, Doug Chin, is seeking a temporary restraining order to block the 120-day visa ban.

“Congress, under the Constitution, is the one that sets up the immigration that’s in place.  But what’s happening with this executive order is basically the President is making law.  He’s creating a standard-less system of waivers and exemptions and a way to define what is a terrorist or what is presumptively a terrorist that’s different from what Congress set up.   So it’s a checks and balances argument but you know that checks and balances is a very strong legal argument.”

Chin says the Department of Justice is scheduled to file its brief Monday and will present arguments telephonically.   Chin plans to be in Federal Court and feels very strongly that Hawai’i’s legal challenge is justified.

“I think the courts need to hear from Hawai’i.  They need to hear that there’s a state where ethnic diversity is the norm; where people are welcomed with “Aloha” and respect and I don’t think it’s right to just stand silent because it’s just a small sector of the population.  They’re there and we should speak for them in ways that people did not speak for the Japanese back in the 1940s.”

Chin says his office is contracting a Washington DC law firm for up to 150-thousand dollars to assist in the case.   He also says District Court Judge Watson may not render a ruling immediately following Wednesday hearing.    Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.