President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been enjoined in Virginia.
On Feb. 13, Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s motion for a preliminary injunction on the president’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven predominately Muslim countries. Brinkema ruled that the executive order is in fact a “Muslim ban” as proposed by Trump on the campaign trail, and is therefore in violation of the First Amendment of the constitution. In her ruling, Brinkema said the Commonwealth is likely to prevail in court on its claim that the ban discriminates against Muslims.
“I saw this unlawful, unconstitutional, and un-American ban for exactly what it is and I’m glad the Court has, too.” Herring said in a statement. “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.”
A final ruling will take months, but in the meantime Brinkema’s ruling will specifically extend to all Virginia residents affected by the ban, which extends to green card holders as well as workers and students in the Commonwealth who were lawfully admitted into the country when the ban went into effect on Jan. 27. The ruling comes on the heels of a similar outcome in a case pending in Washington state’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that similarly denied executing the ban nationwide.
The judge’s decision is a major win for Herring as well as the administration of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, both Democrats. Each spoke against it and in support of Virginia’s Muslim community at events across the Commonwealth over the past two weeks, including at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society center in Sterling. Proponents, including all four Republican candidates running in the 2017 gubernatorial race, said the ban was a necessary national security measure.
The ban led to widespread confusion at airports and sparked protests across the country and in Loudoun County, including at Washington Dulles International Airport. Loudoun has one of the nation’s largest Muslim populations.