A Federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump’s new travel ban, hours before it was due to begin at midnight today.
US District Judge Derrick Watson cited questionable evidence in the government’s argument that the ban was a matter of national security.
President Donald Trump described the ruling as “unprecedented judicial overreach”. The order would have placed a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations and a 120-day ban on refugees.
Mr Trump insists the move is to stop terrorists from entering the US but critics say it is discriminatory.
An earlier version of the order, issued in late January, sparked confusion and protests, and was blocked by a judge in Seattle.
Speaking at a rally in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday evening, Mr Trump said the ruling in Hawaii made the US “look weak”. He said he would take the case “as far as it needs to go” including to the Supreme Court.”
Hawaii is one of several US states trying to stop the ban.
Lawyers had argued that the ban would violate the US constitution by discriminating against people on the grounds of their national origin.
The state also said the ban would harm tourism and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.
Donald Trump’s first travel ban was suspended because it likely violated the due process rights of individuals with valid residency papers and visas.
In its decision, the federal court in Hawaii used Mr Trump’s own words – and the words of his advisers – against him.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who is attending a court hearing in Seattle in his efforts to block the travel ban, described the ruling as “fantastic news”.