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ATG NEWS RELEASE: Hawaii pursues injunctive relief in travel ban litigation

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – Earlier today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order in Hawaii v. Trump explaining that it lacked jurisdiction to address the State of Hawaii and Dr. Ismail Elshikh’s appeal of federal district court Judge Derrick K. Watson’s order denying the motion to clarify the scope of the travel and refugee bans. The Ninth Circuit also said “Plaintiffs may seek injunctive relief from the district court.”

This evening Plaintiffs have done that.

Attorney General Doug Chin said, “We have returned to the steps of the court that first stopped the revised travel and refugee bans. It is an ancient saying that we should never tire of doing what is right, and at the proper time, the right result comes. I intend to follow that principle.”

Following the Ninth Circuit’s instructions, Hawaii tonight filed a motion to enforce, or in the alternative, to modify the preliminary injunction originally issued by Judge Watson. The memorandum in support of Hawaii’s motion, filed with the Hawaii federal district court, states in part:

Just over three months ago, this Court issued an injunction that prevented untold harms that would otherwise have been inflicted by an unconstitutional and unlawful Executive Order. The Supreme Court stayed that injunction in part … [b]ut it left in place the core of the Court’s injunction, and so preserved the rights of Plaintiffs and the American public. One week ago, when the Government announced plans to violate that injunction … the State of Hawaii and Dr. Elshikh immediately sought to vindicate their rights and those of their fellow citizens.

[T]he Ninth Circuit has stated that there is an alternative, viable route for this Court to prevent these brazen violations of its order. This Court, it explained,  “does possess * * * the authority to enjoin against * * * a party’s violation of the Supreme Court’s order placing effective limitations on the scope of the district court’s preliminary injunction.”

Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court follow the path the Ninth Circuit laid out. It should enjoin the Government’s bald attempts to thwart the Supreme Court’s and this Court’s will. In the alternative, Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court modify its injunction to make clear that the Government’s current course of conduct is unlawful. One thing is clear: This Court should not permit the Government to flout its directives at the expense of countless Americans and their loved ones, and it possesses the authority to prevent the Government from so doing.

A copy of the motion and memorandum in support is attached.

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For more information, contact:

Joshua A. Wisch

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

Phone: (808) 586-1284

Email: [email protected]


Twitter: @ATGHIgov