On March 6, President Donald Trump issued an updated version of the executive order that critics have dubbed the “Muslim Ban,” which originally blocked travel to the United States for nationals of seven predominantly-Muslim countries for 90 days. The latest version drops one country from the list (which now includes Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen); exempts people who hold green cards and current visas; and blocks refugee admissions for 120 days for all nations—including Syria, which originally had an indefinite block.
The order is set to go into effect on March 16, but several states are working to strike down what they call a discriminatory order ahead of that deadline. Politico reports that at least five states are working together to convince a federal judge in Seattle to extend the injunction that was issued against the first ban to include the updated version. Those states include Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon and Washington. And Hawaii filed a separate lawsuit on March 7 challenging the order.
“We’re asserting that the president cannot unilaterally declare himself free of the court’s restraining order and injunction,” Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson—who led his state’s successful case against the original order last month—told reporters at a press conference yesterday (March 9). “This is not a new lawsuit…. It’s our view that that temporary restraining order that we’ve already obtained remains in effect. And the burden is on the federal government to explain why it does not.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters yesterday that the White House is not worried about the challenge. “We feel confident in how that was crafted and the input that was given,” he said, per Politico.