Washington, New York And Oregon Sue To Block Trump's New Travel Plan

That didn't take long.

Just a three days after Trump signed a new and revised travel ban executive order on Monday, his old nemesis, Washington state announced it will file a restraining order against the revamped travel ban, a move which, in a replica of the first immigration order fiasco, foreshadows a new legal showdown between the administration and a wave of challenges to the controversial executive order. Washington is not alone: Oregon and New York will join with other states are expected join the lawsuit in the upcoming days, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday during a press conference.

Washington state's announcement comes just one day after Hawaii became the first state to sue Trump over the revised travel ban. A hearing on the suit is set for March 15, the day before Trump's revised travel ban is scheduled to go into effect.

According to NBC, Washington state will ask that a temporary injunction issued last month by a federal judge on Trump's initial executive order apply to the newly revised travel ban. If again upheld, this would block federal employees nationwide from enforcing the travel ban.

"It's my duty, my responsibility to act. We're not going to be bullied by threats and actions by the federal government," Ferguson said adding  "[Trump] cannot unilaterally declare himself free of the court's restraining order and injunction."

The original order, which Trump signed Jan. 27, barred entry for 90 days for nationals of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. It also temporarily stopped refugees from entering the U.S. and indefinitely suspended all Syrian refugee entry. HIs revised order was issued on Monday, and  removed Iraq from the list of barred countries. It also lifted the indefinite ban on refugees from Syria, instead issuing a 120-day suspension of all refugee entry and limiting the total number of refugees allowed entry in 2017 to 50,000.

At a press conference on Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the revised order. "To our allies and partners around the word, please understand this order is part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate vulnerabilities that radical Islamic terrorists can and will exploit for destructive ends," Tillerson said

However, it now appears that despite the revisions, the full spectacle from 6 weeks ago is about to repeat: in early February, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart issued an order blocking the first version of the administration’s ban, which covered immigrants and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries. Robart’s ruling was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, forcing the Trump administration to issue a new travel ban earlier this week after some revisions.

AG Ferguson said Thursday his office will file a motion asking Robart to reaffirm that the order applies to the new version of the travel ban, which is scheduled to go into effect next Thursday, 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.” 

Ferguson said the state will continue to argue that the travel ban amounts to a ban on Muslims. In the initial suit, Ferguson’s office relied on comments from President Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump backer, who said the president asked him to come up with a legal way to ban Muslims. And, as noted above, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) will join Washington in challenging the new ban. 

“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,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

It is certainly unclear what Trump will do if he loses a second consecutive challenge, and whether he would then proceed with yet another revised order, finally take his appeal to the SCOTUS, as he had threatened to do in February, or if will simply give up.