Bob Ferguson

State Attorney General’s Office Challenges Third Trump Travel Ban

By The Chronicle

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday that he has asked a federal judge to block the third version of President Donald Trump’s executive order creating a travel ban for citizens of six majority Muslim countries and North Korea.

“We defeated President Trump’s first travel ban,” Ferguson said in a statement. “This one is also unlawful and it is hurting families, businesses and universities in our state. I will continue to hold the President accountable to the rule of law.”

Trump’s first travel ban was signed in January but was soon halted by Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The ban was rescinded and a second, described by the AG’s office as a “narrower” travel ban, was issued. Washington has not been a party to the continuing federal litigation over that ban.

The second travel ban expired on Sept. 24, the same day the most recent ban was initiated.

Ferguson filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the newest ban in U.S. District Court late Wednesday, according to the AG’s Office. He also plans to amend his original complaint filed against the first ban, which has since been joined by California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon.

The Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments to hear challenges to the second travel ban but canceled them after the third was issued.

“Washington’s new filing includes dozens of declarations by affected Washingtonians, universities, students, faculty and small business owners,” according to the AG’s Office.

While previous bans sought to temporarily ban immigration and travel, the newest bans immigration “indefinitely” from Muslim-majority countries including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad.

“North Korea is also included, though that provision is largely irrelevant because immigration from North Korea to the United States is virtually non-existent,” according to the AG’s Office. “Immigration from North Korea is also barred under separate sanctions orders.”

The order also affects some Venezuelan government officials, according to the AG’s Office.

Ferguson argues that the ban’s flaws include targeting Muslims in violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause and Equal Protection Clause. He also argues that the ban exceeds the president’s authority and that it does not explain why non-muslim majority countries that have produced terrorists and have “widely documented problems with information sharing,” were not included in the ban. The ban also still includes relatives of U.S. citizens or legal residents.