RELIGION

The Latest: Trump suffers new defeat on revised travel ban

  • Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Racine speaks at a press conference Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

    Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Racine speaks at a press conference Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nadia Hanan Madalo, center, hugs her brother Gassan Kakooz at the airport after arriving from Iraq Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in San Diego. Madalo and her family, refugees forced to flee their town of Batnaya, Iraq, after the Islamic State invaded and destroyed it several years ago, arrived in San Diego to be reunited with Madalo's siblings and mother. As they flew to the U.S. on Wednesday, a federal judge in Hawaii put a hold on President Trump's newest ban - the latest development in a fight between the administration and the courts that has injected more uncertainty into the lives of refugees. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Nadia Hanan Madalo, center, hugs her brother Gassan Kakooz at the airport after arriving from Iraq Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in San Diego. Madalo and her family, refugees forced to flee their town of Batnaya, Iraq, after the Islamic State invaded and destroyed it several years ago, arrived in San Diego to be reunited with Madalo's siblings and mother. As they flew to the U.S. on Wednesday, a federal judge in Hawaii put a hold on President Trump's newest ban - the latest development in a fight between the administration and the courts that has injected more uncertainty into the lives of refugees. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nadia Hanan Madalo, center right, hugs her mother, Alyshooa Kannah, center left, at the airport after arriving from Iraq Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in San Diego. Madalo and her family, refugees forced to flee their town of Batnaya, Iraq, after the Islamic State invaded and destroyed it several years ago, arrived in San Diego to be reunited with Madalo's siblings and mother. As they flew to the U.S. on Wednesday, a federal judge in Hawaii put a hold on President Trump's newest ban - the latest development in a fight between the administration and the courts that has injected more uncertainty into the lives of refugees. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Nadia Hanan Madalo, center right, hugs her mother, Alyshooa Kannah, center left, at the airport after arriving from Iraq Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in San Diego. Madalo and her family, refugees forced to flee their town of Batnaya, Iraq, after the Islamic State invaded and destroyed it several years ago, arrived in San Diego to be reunited with Madalo's siblings and mother. As they flew to the U.S. on Wednesday, a federal judge in Hawaii put a hold on President Trump's newest ban - the latest development in a fight between the administration and the courts that has injected more uncertainty into the lives of refugees. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on federal court challenges to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban (all times local except where noted):

7:45 a.m.

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.

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1:40 a.m. EDT

A federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban hours before it was to take effect, marking the second time courts have thwarted Trump's efforts to freeze immigration by refugees and citizens of some predominantly Muslim nations.

The ruling came from a judge in Hawaii who rejected the government's claims that the travel ban is about national security, not discrimination. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state, and that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination.

Watson criticized what he called the "illogic" of the government's arguments and cited "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" behind the travel ban. He also noted that while courts should not examine the "veiled psyche" and "secret motives" of government decision-makers, "the remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry."