Attorney General Bob Ferguson considers next legal move | KUOW News and Information

Attorney General Bob Ferguson considers next legal move

Mar 7, 2017

The White House may have issued a new travel order, but the same legal concerns from the original one remain.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he’s reviewing the new executive order to see how it affects the state’s suit against the federal government.

Still, he says, the new travel order doesn’t change his concerns about the president’s intent behind the policy.

“Just because they now rescinded the original order and have a new one, the concern we laid out in our original filing about the intent behind the original executive order — religiously motivated, targeting Muslim countries — that concern remains,” he said.

The revised executive order is narrower in scope. It still bans citizens from six Muslim countries from entering or applying for visas to come to the U.S. Iraq is no longer part of the ban, though. People with green cards, visas or dual citizenships are exempt.

And unlike the previous order, which took effect immediately and caused confusion at airports around the country, the new restrictions won’t go into effect until March 16. 

Stewart Jay, emeritus professor of law at the University of Washington, says the new order is going to be much harder to challenge.

“The president has been given tremendous latitude by various statutes over immigration and just visiting the United States,” he said.  “There’s a lot of broad authority given to the executive over national security generally as a matter of Constitutional law, so this is going to be a much harder case for the challengers to make.”

The new executive order rescinds the previous one. But it remains to be seen what happens to Washington’s lawsuit. Ferguson says the number of affected people is smaller, but many of the provisions in the ban remain unchanged.

Ferguson says he’ll be meeting with state universities, colleges, and local businesses to find out how the new ban will affect them. He says he’ll make a decision on the next legal steps sometime this week.