Four Democrat-led states are currently suing President Donald Trump over Executive Order 13780, temporarily restricting immigration from seven terror-prone nations, and that number of states will likely grow in the next few days. At least one of these legal challenges appears headed for the Supreme Court.
Many of the 20 lawsuits filed over Trump’s first executive order (EO) are being dismissed, but when EO 13780 revoked and replaced the first EO, several states decided instead to press forward, insisting that the new EO is still a “Muslim ban.”
Trump signed EO 13769 on Jan. 27. Washington State sued on Jan. 30, joined by Minnesota. Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a rare temporary restraining order (TRO) on Feb. 3, blocking the EO.
There were several reasons that the federal trial court and the appeals court could have dismissed the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction. Instead, on Feb. 9 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the TRO.
Although longstanding constitutional principles should require the Washington State lawsuit to be dismissed because EO 13780 has provisions different from EO 13769, and thus any legal challenge should have to start over at the beginning, the plaintiffs have asked Judge Robart instead to regard the new EO as a continuation of the first EO and continue to block the policy.
On Mar. 9, Oregon was permitted to intervene as another plaintiff in Washington and Minnesota’s case. The attorney general of New York has announced that the Empire State would seek to intervene in that case as well.
The previous day, on Mar. 8, the State of Hawaii filed its own separate lawsuit challenging the order in the federal district court in the Aloha State. Hawaii is represented by former U.S. Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal and a team from his powerhouse law firm, Hogan Lovells.
Both of these cases will eventually end up before the same appeals court: the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. It is possible from there that one or more of these cases could go to the Supreme Court, perhaps on an expedited schedule.
Washington v. Trump is No. 2:17cv141 in the Western District of Washington.
Hawaii v. Trump is No. 1:17cv50 in the District of Hawaii.