May 29, 2008
By Bruce Edwards Rutland Herald
BURLINGTON — Four Vermonters and the U.S. government squared off in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Wednesday over whether travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans who want to visit family members on the Caribbean island violates their constitutional rights.
Following the two-hour hearing, U.S. District Judge William Sessions took the case under advisement, declining to rule from the bench on the government’s motion to dismiss the case. At the same time, Sessions ruled against the four plaintiffs who sought a preliminary injunction that would have allowed the three Vermonters of Cuban descent and an American married to a Cuban to travel to Cuba.
Sessions ruled that he did not have the legal authority at this time to issue such an order.
The hearing was punctuated by Sessions repeatedly asking probing questions of the government and plaintiffs’ lawyers.