Judge grants injunction against Trump travel ban in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WRIC) — A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration from implementing its travel ban in Virginia, adding another judicial ruling to those already in place challenging the ban’s constitutionality.

A federal appeals court in California has already upheld a national temporary restraining order stopping the government from implementing the ban, which is directed at seven Muslim-majority countries.

But the preliminary injunction issued late Monday by U.S. District Court Leonie (LAY-uh-nee) Brinkema in Alexandria is a more permanent type of injunction than the temporary restraining order issued in the Washington state case.

Brinkema’s injunction, though, applies only in Virginia.

In her 22-page ruling, Brinkema said the Trump administration offered no justification for the travel ban and wrote that the president’s executive power “does not mean absolute power.” She wrote, in part:

“The Commonwealth has produced unrebutted evidence supporting its position that it is likely to succeed on an Establishment Clause claim. The “Muslim ban” was a centerpiece of the president’s campaign for months, and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this Memorandum Opinion is being entered.”

Attorney General Mark Herring also issued a statement on the nation’s first preliminary injunction:

“I saw this unlawful, unconstitutional, and un-American ban for exactly what it is and I’m glad the Court has, too. We presented a mountain of evidence showing this was the ‘Muslim ban’ that President Trump promised as a candidate, while his administration failed to refute one shred of our evidence or provide any of its own to support its claims. The overwhelming evidence shows that this ban was conceived in religious bigotry and is actually making Americans and our armed forces less safe at home and abroad. This preliminary injunction will protect Virginians while our case is pending, and the opinion explaining it lays out in stunning detail the extent to which the Court finds this order to likely violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Last week, it was chaos as protesters filled airports across the U.S. Some travelers were denied access after the president’s executive order banning people from several countries from entering.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Mark Herring announced a lawsuit challenging that order. On Friday, a judge granted a motion to allow the state to join a lawsuit filed by two Yemeni brothers who were among those that could not get into the country while at Dulles International Airport last weekend.

“Really pleased that the judge recognized that real harm was happening in Virginia, to Virginia residents, to our colleges and universities and our businesses in Virginia,” Herring said outside of federal court on Friday.

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The judge’s order not only allows the state to join the lawsuit, but it expands the scope of the case by allowing Virginia to look at visa holders in addition to green card holders affected by the president’s ban.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the state are criticizing the attorney general for his actions, calling the suit political grandstanding and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“The attorney general has continued to pick and choose when he wants to be Virginia’s lawyer, and he’s taken the opportunity to go engage in some lawyering where I think he’s doing it at the expense of Virginians and the American people in terms of their safety,” said Delegate Todd Gilbert of Rockingham County said.

The judge also issued an order Friday afternoon requiring the federal government provide a list of the people denied access to or removed from the U.S. since the executive order.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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