Less than two hours after a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on the Trump administration's revised travel ban, the president slammed the decision as "an unprecedented judicial overreach."
A day before the executive order was to take effect, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson blocked the limitations on travel and immigration. Watson's ruling in Hawaii Wednesday noted that "a reasonable, objective observer… would conclude" that the ban "was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion."
Speaking Wednesday night at a rally at Nashville's Municipal Auditorium, President Trump said the court was motivated by "political reasons," adding that he expected to be "criticized ... for speaking harshly about our courts."
"The order... blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with," Trump said.
He added, "This ruling makes us look weak."
The decision in Hawaii was just the latest hindrance to Trump's ongoing promise to protect the country from terrorism. He has continuously argued a temporary limit on travel is necessary while an "extreme vetting" process is instituted to better gauge the potential threat of those wishing to enter.
Trump signed the revised executive order on March 6, replacing his January 27 ban which was met with widespread protests and legal challenges after travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa were prevented from travelling to the U.S. The original order was blocked by a federal judge's temporary restraining order in Washington state in February -- a move that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals later declined to stay.
The president noted at the rally that steps were taken to defend the order against further disputation, saying, "This new order was tailored to the dictates of the 9th Circuit's -- in my opinion -- flawed ruling."
He went on to vow that his administration would continue to pursue the matter in court, a promise similar to the one he made after the first executive order was restrained. Trump tweeted in February, "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"
That pledge was broken when the revised order rescinded the original.
"We are going to fight this terrible rule," Trump said at the Nashville rally. "We are going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court. We are going to win. We are going to keep our citizens safe and regardless, we are going to keep our citizens safe, believe me."