A group of at least four states are headed to court to block key elements of the new travel ban executive order President Donald Trump signed Monday.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his office is filing a motion asking a federal judge in Seattle to rule that an existing injunction against the travel ban order Trump issued in January applies to parallel portions of Trump’s new directive.
“We’re asserting that the president cannot unilaterally declare himself free of the court’s restraining order and injunction,” Ferguson told reporters at news conference Thursday. “It’s our view that that temporary restraining order that we’ve already obtained remains in effect.”
Ferguson acknowledged that the new order “has been narrowed, but he added: “That does not mean that it’s cured its constitutional problems.”
Trump’s original order suspended entry to the U.S. by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries and halted refugee admissions. The new order exempts existing visa holders from travel restrictions and removes one nation—Iraq—from the original list.
The states of Washington and Minnesota obtained the broadest injunction against Trump’s original order last month. The effort to enforce that order against the new travel ban directive will be joined by the states of New York and Oregon and perhaps others still to come, Ferguson said.
The state of Hawaii has filed its own lawsuit challenging Trump’s new order. A judge in Honolulu has scheduled a hearing next Wednesday just hours before the new directive is set to kick in.