US District Judge Derrick Watson, pictured above, ruled that the state of Hawaii, in its legal challenge to the order, had established a strong likelihood that the ban would cause "irreparable injury" were it to go ahead.
The practical effect of the ruling -- which applies nationwide -- is that travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees will be able to travel to the US. This means a nationwide freeze on
enforcement of a ban on entry by nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
It also halts a 120-day suspension of the US refugee admissions program.
President Trump who was dealt a humiliating defeat, quickly vowed to fight the "flawed" ruling all the way to the Supreme Court if required, describing it as "unprecedented judicial overreach."
"The law in the constitution gave the president the power to suspend immigration when he deems it to be in the national interest of our country," he said at a speech in Nashville, Tennessee, adding: "We are going to win."The Hawaii court said however it would not stay its decision in the event of an appeal, meaning the ban cannot go ahead as planned on Thursday regardless of any action the White House takes.
Unlike the previous executive order, the new one removed Iraq from the list of banned countries, exempted those with green cards and visas and removed a provision that arguably prioritizes certain religious minorities.
The new ban was announced earlier this month and was set to take effect Thursday. It would have banned people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.