Legal challenges against US President Donald Trump's revised travel ban mounted Thursday as Washington state said it would renew its request to block the executive order. A judge also granted Oregon's request to join the case.
The events happened a day after Hawaii launched its own lawsuit, and Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said New York state also asked to join his state's legal effort. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said the state is joining fellow states in challenging the revised travel ban.
Travel ban 2.0
Trump’s original travel ban applied to all citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and barred refugees from the US for 120 days.
Trump's revised ban bars new visas for people from six of the seven: Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. Iraq has been removed from the list. The ban also temporarily shuts down the US refugee program. Unlike the initial order, the new one says current visa holders won't be affected, and removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.
Washington was the first state to sue over the original ban, which resulted in Judge James Robart in Seattle halting its implementation around the country.
My message to President Trump is — not so fast," Ferguson told reporters on Thursday. "After spending more than a month to fix a broken order that he rushed out the door, the President's new order reinstates several of the same provisions and has the same illegal motivations as the original."
Ferguson said the state would ask Robart to rule that his temporary restraining order against the first ban applies to Trump's revised action.
Robart on Thursday granted Oregon's request to join Washington and Minnesota in the case opposing the travel ban.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said the executive order has hurt Oregon, its residents, employers, agencies, educational institutions, health care system and economy.
Not a game of whack-a-mole
Ferguson said it's not the government, but the court, that gets to decide whether the revised order is different enough that it would not be covered by the previous temporary restraining order.
"It cannot be a game of whack-a-mole for the court," he said. "In our view, this new executive order contains many of the same legal weaknesses as the first and reinstates some of the identical policies as the original."
"We have a strong case and they are willing to join our efforts," Ferguson said of his fellow Democrats. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement called the executive order "a Muslim ban by another name."
Other states that have filed briefs supporting Washington's initial lawsuit include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
The house of Trump
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday the administration believed the revised travel ban will stand up to legal scrutiny.
"We feel very confident with how that was crafted and the input that was given," Spicer said.
The Trump administration says the old order will be revoked once the new one goes into effect on March 16.