(AP) A federal judge in Greenbelt, Maryland, has blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.
Judge Theodore Chuang ruled Thursday in a case brought near the nation's capital by the ACLU and other groups representing immigrants, refugees and their families. The groups argued that the underlying rationale of the ban was to discriminate against Muslims, making it unconstitutional. Chuang granted a preliminary injunction nationwide basis.
It was the latest ruling against Trump's revised travel ban.
Government lawyers argued that the ban was substantially revised from an earlier version signed in January that was later blocked by a federal judge in Washington State. They said the ban was ordered in the interest of national security to protect the U.S. from "radical Islamic terrorism."
The Maryland plaintiffs also argued the ban illegally reduces the number of refugees authorized to enter the U.S. this year.
Chuang granted a preliminary injunction nationwide basis pending further orders from this court. He declined to stay the ruling should an emergency appeal be filed.
One of the attorneys in the Maryland case says the court saw through what he called the government's "maneuvering" and recognized the new order for what it was. Lee Gelernt says the revised ban is "a Muslim ban."
Gelernt also is deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project.
Gelernt said the judge's order also is important because it will remain in place "through trial, and not just for a couple of weeks."