Federal judge in Hawaii blocks Trump's new travel ban hours before implementation

A federal judge in Hawaii put a temporary nationwide halt to President Donald Trump's new travel ban Wednesday, hours before it was set to take effect at 12:01 a.m.

The judge was one of three to hear arguments in separate cases across the country Wednesday over whether to block the ban on the eve of its implementation, but the court was the first to act nationwide to put it to a stop.

The travel restrictions, laid out in an executive order signed March 6, would suspend the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and largely stop travel from six majority-Muslim countries for 90 days.

Related: Protests from the first travel ban

Critics have said the measures amount to religious discrimination, and in Wednesday's arguments lawyers challenging the ban referred multiple times to Trump's repeated calls on the campaign trail for a "shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" until "our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

The president's first travel ban, signed a week after Trump took office, was halted by a nationwide injunction issued by a federal court in Seattle on Feb. 3 and unanimously upheld by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco six days later.

Related: Supporters back Trump's initial travel ban