Attorney General Ferguson: President Trump concedes defeat on travel ban

  • Thursday, February 16, 2017 2:28pm
  • News

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson raised the flag of victory Thursday in his court fight against President Trump and his controversial travel ban that prohibited people from seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Ferguson pointed to a filing by the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday that said “the president intends in the near future to rescind the order and replace it with a new, substantially revised executive order.”

Trump has said he’ll sign a new executive order that would avoid the constitutional concerns that plagued his first travel ban.

“Let’s be clear: Today’s court filing by the federal government recognizes the obvious — the president’s current executive order violates the Constitution,” Ferguson said.

“President Trump could have sought review of this flawed order in the Supreme Court but declined to face yet another defeat,” Ferguson added.

In filings with the Ninth Circuit this week, both the federal government and the states of Washington and Minnesota urged the court to decline an “en banc” review of an earlier, unanimous ruling by a panel of three Ninth Circuit judges.

In that decision, the court upheld U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart’s injunction preventing enforcement of the executive order nationwide.

Ferguson said the injunction will remain in effect while Robart considers the attorney general’s lawsuit that challenges key provisions of the president’s order as illegal and unconstitutional.

If Ferguson prevails, the executive order would be permanently invalidated nationwide.

In his earlier ruling, Robart determined that Ferguson demonstrated that he is likely to prevail on the merits of his lawsuit. The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld that decision last week.

Ferguson noted the non-partisan nature of the rulings; two of the four federal judges were appointed by a Republican president, two by Democratic presidents.

Washington became the first state to challenge the Trump’s order on Jan. 30. Ferguson argued the executive order violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, infringes individuals’ constitutional right to due process and contravenes the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.

Major Washington state institutions, plus more than 100 major corporations, several other states and a bipartisan group of former national security officials supported the Washington state’s lawsuit through court filings in the case.

Minnesota, led by Attorney General Lori Swanson, joined Ferguson’s amended complaint filed Feb. 1.

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