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The Hawaii Judge Who Stopped Trump's Travel Ban Has Been Receiving Death Threats

The FBI says it's aware of threats made to federal Judge Derrick Watson and is prepared to assist in the investigation.

Posted on March 23, 2017, at 9:13 p.m. ET

The Hawaii federal judge who halted President Donald Trump's revised travel and refugee ban has been targeted with threats and will reportedly get around-the-clock protection.

FBI spokesperson Michele Ernst told BuzzFeed News that the agency is aware of threats made to US District Judge Derrick Watson and is prepared to assist with the investigation.

Watson started receiving threats after he ruled against Trump's executive order barring people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US on March 15, expressing almost visceral opposition to the government’s arguments. While stunting Trump's effort to restrict access to the US for second time, the ruling also sparked a viral campaign of people claiming they would boycott Hawaii, which has been parodied on social media.

The US Marshals Services has flown about a dozen deputies to Hawaii to provide the judge with 24-hour protection, Hawaii News Now reported.

US Marshals officials, however, declined to comment on their exact plans, citing policy.

"The US 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 to BuzzFeed News. "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 was nominated by President Obama in 2012. Before that, he was an assistant United States attorney in Hawaii. Watson is a 1984 graduate of Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools, a private school system for Native Hawaiian students. He then attended Harvard for undergrad and law school.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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