UPDATE1: Maryland judge deals another blow to Trump's revised travel ban

CULTURE

A federal judge in Maryland issued a nationwide halt to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban on Thursday, a day after a similar ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii.

Like the Hawaii judge, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang determined Trump's executive order targeting people from six Muslim-majority nations violated the Constitution's ban on religious discrimination.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Justice Department would appeal what he called two federal judges' "flawed" decisions to obstruct Trump's revised travel ban.

"The department is exploring all available options to vigorously defend this executive order...We expect action to be taken soon," he said at a news briefing, adding, "The danger is real and the law is clear."

The Trump administration has cited national security as the reason for the travel ban. Critics, however, blasted it as discriminatory against Muslims.

The revised executive order, which Trump signed March 6 to take effect Thursday, reduced the list of countries from seven to six, dropping Iraq while keeping Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The new order blocks the issuance of new visas for 90 days for people from the six countries, but exempts those who already have valid visas.

In contrast, the Jan. 27 directive halted travel for citizens of the seven countries including those who already had been issued visas.

==Kyodo

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