By Ryan Houldin,
CAIR-Philadelphia Staff Attorney
Last evening may have marked the first instance where Donald Trump’s words have come back to haunt him. Prior to last evening, Trump’s myriad offensive comments have had little effect on his ability to gain support among the American people and Republican legislatures across the country. Trump supporters either wholeheartedly embraced his xenophobic, sexist, racist, bigoted comments or routinely downplayed them by urging people not to take Trump’s words literally. Well, fortunately for those who still believe in the Constitution, Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii, decided to hold Trump to his words.
Judge Watson halted the implementation of Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0, pointing to various comments from Trump and his administration that illustrated “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus.” The Trump administration seemed to believe that by removing the overtly discriminatory language contained in the first Muslim ban, there would be no evidence that the true intent behind the revised ban was motivated by targeting Muslims. Remaining true to his character, Trump seemingly forgot his often-repeated campaign promise to enact a Muslim ban, but Judge Watson did not.
Judge Watson candidly stated, “[comments] made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose.” Judge Watson also singled out comments made by Rudy Giuliani and Stephen Miller, both of whom publicly admitted that the purpose of the Executive Order was to bring Trump’s Muslim ban promise to fruition.
It is a welcome relief to finally see someone in power hold Donald Trump accountable to his words and actions. CAIR-Philadelphia commends Judge Watson on upholding the Constitution and ensuring that freedom of religion applies to all religions, not just those favored by this administration.