Democratic AGs mount fight against Trump travel ban

Democratic AGs mount fight against Trump travel ban

SEATTLE — In stepping up legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, Democratic attorneys general are trying to use the court system to thwart the executive branch in the same way their GOP counterparts did under President Barack Obama.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday he was asking a federal judge to find that his order last month halting the old travel ban applies to the new one, too.

Ferguson’s action came a day after Hawaii launched its own lawsuit. Washington, Minnesota, Oregon, New York and Massachusetts planned to file a new complaint challenging the revised travel ban Monday.

“My message to President Trump is: Not so fast,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson and his fellow Democratic attorneys general are now doing what Republicans did when Obama was in office — filing lawsuits to block policies. Republican attorneys general took Obama to court over a variety of issues, most notably his health care legislation.

Attorneys general are the chief lawyers for state governments and can sue more broadly on behalf of their states. Most are elected and can act independently of their legislatures or governors, although Ferguson, for example, has the support of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, also a Democrat.

Trump’s revised ban bars new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim countries: Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. It also temporarily shuts down the U.S. refugee program.

Unlike the initial order, the new one says current visa holders won’t be affected, and removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said that the state could not stay silent on Trump’s travel ban because of Hawaii’s unique culture and history. Hawaii depends heavily on tourism, and the revised ban would hurt the state’s economy, he said.

The courts need to hear “that there’s a state where ethnic diversity is the norm, where people are welcomed with aloha and respect,” Chin said.

In the original lawsuit targeting the first ban, Ferguson said it was unconstitutional and hurt the state’s businesses and universities.

Ferguson said it’s not the government, but the court, that gets to decide whether the revised order is different enough that it would not be covered by previous temporary restraining order.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday the administration believed the revised travel ban will stand up to legal scrutiny.

“We feel very confident with how that was crafted and the input that was given,” Spicer said.

Ferguson said he was pleased other that attorneys general had sought to take part in the legal action. On Thursday, the Seattle judge granted Oregon’s request to join Washington and Minnesota in the case opposing the travel ban; New York and Massachusetts say they’ll also join the case.

“We have a strong case and they are willing to join our efforts,” Ferguson said of his fellow Democrats. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement called the executive order “a Muslim ban by another name.”

Other states that have filed briefs supporting Washington’s initial lawsuit include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

___

Sinco Kelleher reported from Honolulu. Associated Press writers Tarek Hamada in Phoenix and Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

Martha Bellisle And Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Kelowna RCMP host bike theft prevention seminar

Learn the best ways to secure your bike Saturday at Stuart Park

Liberal Party candidate acclaimed for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Mary Ann Murphy will be acclaimed at a celebration tonight

Green Party announces candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country

Travis Ashley will challenge incumbent Liberal MP in October’s federal election

Online registration to speed up evacuee processing in Okanagan

Central Okanagan district tests province’s streamlined emergency management digital self-registration

Civil suit brought against Kelowna RCMP officer after ‘abhorrent’ interrogation

The woman involved in the 2012 interrogation is suing the officer and B.C.’s Minister of Justice

Locked in for love at the Kelowna BC SPCA

Kelowna celebrities get locked in for love at the BC SPCA

B.C. oil tanker ban squeaks through final vote in Senate

Bill C-48 bars oil tankers from loading at ports on B.C’s north coast

Teens have privacy rights, doctor tells inquest into B.C. boy’s opioid death

Elliot Eurchuk died of a drug overdose. He was found unresponsive in his bedroom in April 2018

’When thunder roars, go indoors’: How to keep safe before lightning strikes

Each year, an estimated 10 deaths and as many as 164 injuries are lightning-related

Doors opened to the new pediatric oncology room at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

After $90,000 dollars was raised children now have a private place for treatment

VIDEO: After 73 years, siblings separated by adoption reunite in B.C

Donna Smith of Abbotsford and Clayton Myers of Williams Lake are glad they met each other

NHL Draft 2019: First-round mock selections

Hughes expected to go No. 1 overall; Canucks have 10th pick

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

Most Read