States Seek Halt to Revised Travel Ban

Just days after President Trump signed a revised version of an executive order suspending travel into the U.S. by certain nationals, states again seek to block the action. Echoing arguments against the original ban that resulted in a federal temporary restraining order, signed in January, attorneys general in several states say the second effort still leaves many of the same constitutional problems that existed before.

“President Trump’s latest executive order is a Muslim ban by another name, imposing policies and protocols that once again violate the Equal Protection Clause and Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

The president’s first effort in introducing the travel ban targeted citizens and refugees from seven Middle East and North African predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the United States. The ban was challenged immediately, and by February 3, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a ruling to uphold U.S. District Judge James Robart’s ruling that blocked the order from implementation.

In the state of Washington, Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a motion asking Judge Robart to affirm that his previous order also applies to any new versions of the travel ban, which is scheduled to go into effect March 16.

“We’ve won in court, and the president has had to honor those defeats,” Ferguson told reporters at a press conference in Seattle. “It’s my expectation that we will continue to prevail, and certainly my expectation that the president will continue to respect the decision of the court.”

The revised order narrows the scope of the travel ban, which some legal experts reportedly say avoids some of the illegalities of the original.

Under the original order, the ban from entering the United States applied to nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. President Trump’s new order removed the ban from Iraqi nationals after the country revised procedures toward compliance with a stronger vetting system.

The new order also clarifies that legal resident who’ve already been issued can still come to the United States.

Still, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin chimes in with those opposed to the ban. He filed suit in federal court that allege the travel ban would hurt Hawaii’s tourism industry and its businesses, along with Hawaii educational institutions.

In a press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to a question about the Hawaii filing by saying the administration is hopeful the revised ban will withstand court scrutiny.

Ferguson, the New York attorney general, said his state plans to continue the argument that the travel ban is equivalent to a Muslim ban. In the lawsuit that brought the initial injunction on the original travel ban, Ferguson pointed to comments from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s. Giuliani, a longtime Trump supporter and surrogate, said the president recruited his help to legally ban Muslims from entry.