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Threats lodged against Hawaii judge who ruled against travel ban

This December 2015 photo shows U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu. (George F. Lee / Associated Press)
This December 2015 photo shows U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu. (George F. Lee / Associated Press)
By Jaweed Kaleem Los Angeles Times

The Hawaii federal judge who brought President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban to a national halt last week has become the target of threats.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson has received the threats since his March 15 ruling, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Michele Ernst.

Ernst said the FBI is ready to assist but declined to provide more information.

The U.S. Marshals Service also said it would not give details.

“The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for the protection of federal judicial officials, including judges and prosecutors, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” the agency said in a statement.

“While we do not discuss our specific security measures, we continuously review the security measures in place for all federal judges and take appropriate steps to provide additional protection when it is warranted.”

Watson, a judge in U.S. District Court of Hawaii in Honolulu, issued a scathing 43-page opinion against the travel ban the day before it was to go into effect.

He wrote that, despite the ban’s “stated secular purpose,” Trump’s own words marked the executive order as a fulfillment of the president’s campaign promise to temporarily bar Muslims from coming U.S. “The illogic of the government’s contention is palpable,” Watson said.

In response, Trump said Watson’s ruling was “terrible” and “makes us look weak.”

Trump has vowed the take the case over the travel ban to the U.S. Supreme Court. An appeal of a separate Maryland federal judge’s ruling against the travel ban is currently pending in the U.S. 4th District Court of Appeals.

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