On the eve of the new travel ban, the Justice Department will defend President Trump’s latest executive order from legal challenges across the country

Mar 15, 2017

Washington State AG Bob Ferguson Files Motion To Block Trump Travel Ban

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announces his decision on potential action regarding President Donald Trump’s latest Executive Order on immigration on March 9, 2017. ; Credit: Karen Ducey/Getty Images


Donald Trump’s revised executive order banning travel from six majority Muslim countries is facing legal challenges in multiple courtrooms today.

The ACLU and other immigration groups are suing in Maryland for an injunction to stay the order. Arguments in that case center on whether it’s legal to change the number of refugees accepted into the U.S. in the middle of the fiscal year. The state of Hawaii will also have a hearing today on its lawsuit claiming the order will harm university students, tourism, and Muslims who live in the state.

The attorney general of Washington State wants to bring the same challenge that stayed President Trump’s first executive order back to the courtroom of federal district Judge James Robart. Robart has left the door open to arguments by telephone today, and could rule at any time on whether his previous temporary restraining order still applies.

There are a number of tweaks in the latest executive order. Iraq is no longer included in the ban, Syrian refugees are not indefinitely blocked, and there are no longer exceptions built in for religious minorities.  

Critics say the core of the order remains the same–it’s an attempt to implement the Muslim ban promised by candidate Trump, and it violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, preventing the government from showing preference for a particular religion.
The Justice Department argues the new order is legal and necessary for national security–and prior injunctions should not apply to the latest executive order.

How will the President’s revised executive order on travel stand up to legal challenges? And what will it mean for people in the Los Angeles area when (and if) it kicks-in at 12:01 AM Thursday?


Ahilan Arulanantham, legal director and director of advocacy at the ACLU of Southern California

James Copland, director of legal policy and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

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