Though the ruling was completely predictable (a Maryland court issued a similar order a few hours later), Trump responded as he often does after losing in court: by attacking the legitimacy of America’s judiciary.
Trump’s revised executive order is a half-hearted attempt to do the impossible. The administration tried to rewrite his original travel ban – which threw the nation’s airports into chaos, resulted in the detention or removal of hundreds of travelers, inspired mass protests and was ultimately enjoined by multiple courts – to make it pass constitutional muster. But none of the changes the Trump team made can remedy its fundamental constitutional infirmity: It is meant to discriminate against Muslims.
Trump has almost certainly been advised that Muslim Ban 2.0 – which he himself called a “watered-down version” of the original – was unlikely to fare any better in court. But at a rally in Tennessee on Wednesday, Trump claimed the ruling was “done by a judge for political reasons,” and read a portion of the statute he claims gives him the authority to do whatever he wants. It says that the president may “impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate” if he finds it is in the national interest.
Trump’s pronouncements on the judiciary are increasingly ominous.