President Trump slammed a Hawaii federal judge who halted his revised travel ban from going into effect Wednesday, saying the ruling was “unprecedented judicial overreach.”
“This ruling makes us look weak,” Trump thundered at a rally in Nashville, Tenn., before vowing that he would “fight this terrible ruling … as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court.”
A temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson was made public approximately an hour before Trump took the stage in front of a raucous crowd of placard-waving supporters.
“Let me give you the bad news, the sad news,” Trump told his audience about the decision, later adding “and I have to be nice, otherwise I’ll get criticized for speaking poorly about our courts.”
The order before Watson on Wednesday was a revised version of an earlier order, which temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee program and barred the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries. More than half a dozen states were attempting to prevent the latest ban from taking effect early Thursday.
“This new order was tailored to the dictates of the Ninth Circuit’s, in my opinion, flawed ruling,” Trump said. “This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach.
“The law and the Constitution,” the president argued to a cheering crowd, “give the president the power to suspend immigration when he deems — or she … deems it to be in the national interest of our country.”
On Air Force One late Wednesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the administration stood by the initial executive order, which was halted by the appeals court last month.
“We believed the first one was accurate,” Spicer said, “[and] the second one was literally tailored to the court ruling.” The spokesman said he did not know what the administration’s next steps would be.
The travel ban was one of many topics Trump touched on during the campaign-style rally, including his joint effort with House Republicans to replace ObamaCare.
At one point, Trump invoked Tennessee native Andrew Jackson, a fellow populist outsider, and said the seventh president “understood that real leadership means putting America first.”
Earlier Wednesday, the president laid a wreath at Andrew Jackson’s tomb to mark the 250th anniversary of the former president’s birth, and toured the Hermitage, Jackson’s home.
“We’re keeping our promises,” said Trump, noting that he’s more than halfway through the 100-day measure by which new presidents are judged. “And we have just gotten started. Wait till you see what’s coming, folks.”
On the flight back to Washington, he said he hoped to hold rallies “every two weeks. I mean, these are great people.”