Trump's words come back to haunt in court

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Although both court orders are meant to apply nationwide, the Hawaii order is broader.

Equally flawed, he wrote, was the notion that the ban didn't target Islam because it applies to all individuals in Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.

Neither U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland nor Judge Derrick Watson bought the administration's reasoning that the travel ban is about national security.

"The fact that the White House took the highly irregular step of first introducing the travel ban without receiving the input and judgment of the relevant national security agencies strongly suggests that the religious goal was primary, and the national security objective, even if legitimate, is a secondary post hoc rationale", the judge wrote. He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement.

"While the travel ban bears no resemblance to any response to a national security risk in recent history, it bears a clear resemblance to the precise action that President Trump described as effectuating his Muslim ban", he said.

Watson also wrote, referring to a statement Trump issued as a candidate, "For instance, there is nothing "veiled" about this press release: 'Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States'". A third court, in Washington state, has declined to enforce a previous restraining order but is expected to rule on a request to block the revised order.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a media briefing the government would "vigorously defend this executive order" and appeal against the "flawed rulings". "We're going to fight this bad ruling", he said, to applause from the crowd.

He said there were "notable distinctions" between the original and revised order - including the narrower scope of the new one, and the removal of references to religion - that mean it has to be considered separately.

The Justice Department also argues the Hawaii ruling shouldn't block Trump's order that security officials review whether other countries are providing enough information to ensure would-be immigrants aren't a security threat.

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In granting a temporary restraining order against the ban challenged in a lawsuit brought by the state of Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson found on Wednesday that "a reasonable, objective observer ... would conclude that the executive order was issued with a goal to disfavour a particular religion".

He added that a ruling reversing the Maryland injunction could "cast doubt on the enforceability in the 4th Circuit of the Hawaii judge's order that purports to reach nationwide". The revised travel order did not order separate treatment for Syrian refugees.

Rights groups and states contesting the ban welcomed the rulings.

Justin Cox of the National Immigration Law Center, representing all the plaintiffs, right, accompanied by Omar Jadwat of the ACLU, speaks to reporters outside the court in Beltsville, Md., Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

The Justice Department has not yet filed its formal appellate brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the case will eventually be heard, but that is the next step.

An appeal to the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, would not necessarily be easier for the Trump administration, said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who is following the cases.

Donald Trump's new travel ban is still a discrimnatory measure, according to two federal judges. In fact, you could say it's an expansion.

Citing a report that reviewed White House administrations going back to Reagan, Chuang noted in his ruling that no president has issued a ban on the entry "of all citizens from more than one country at the same time, much less six nations all at once".