"Judge Anthony Trenga, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, said in his 32-page ruling that Trump was legally allowed to ban travel from those specific countries and that the executive order was not discriminatory in nature as the Palestinian activist who filed the lawsuit requesting an injunction had suggested.
Trenga wrote that the president “has unqualified authority to bar physical entry to the United States at the border.” He also pointed out that the executive order itself does not mention religion and has a “state secular purpose” of protecting U.S. citizens from terrorist attacks.
The judge didn’t view Trump’s campaign rhetoric about a “Muslim ban” as being dispositive and did not accord it the weight that Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii did.
Here’s a good breakdown as to why Judge Watson’s opinion was wrong, including finding a violation of constitutional rights of non-citizens.
The interpretation of the judge in Virginia is much more in line with normal interpretation of the law.
Generally, you interpret a law, or in this case an order, based on the plain language, you don’t go looking at everything that may have ever been said on the subject, not even necessarily on the order itself.
You don’t look beyond it at intent unless the law/order is itself unclear, which this order is not. The order itself has no religion and has no discriminatory aspect about it. Not to mention as the judge in Virginia correctly notes, it is the purview of the president to set immigration policy, not the courts.
So thankfully there’s at least one judge who cares about the law and not reading his own opinion into it."