NPR logo NPR Interview with State Attorney General Challenging Trump's Travel Order

NPR Interview with State Attorney General Challenging Trump's Travel Order

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson holds a news conference Monday in Seattle to discuss President Trump's new immigration executive order. Karen Ducey/Getty Images hide caption

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Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson holds a news conference Monday in Seattle to discuss President Trump's new immigration executive order.

Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Thursday, March 9, 2017; The Washington State Attorney General will announce today that they are asking a federal judge to extend an earlier temporary restraining order from the previous executive order to the president's revised travel order. The State of Washington's challenge to the first executive order on immigration/travel was the most successful legal challenge to that ban, resulting in a temporary restraining order that put the ban on hold nationwide.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke to Washington State AG Bob Ferguson about the new move. This interview will air at 5:06pm ET on All Things Considered.

Stations and broadcast times are available at NPR.org/stations

Excerpts from the interview:

When asked about the Trump administration's argument that the new order supersedes the old one, therefore invalidating the temporary restraining order, Ferguson said;
"The bottom line is that the court issued, and we obtained, a temporary restraining order on the original executive order. Yes, the revised [executive order] is more narrow. That's a success. But the core constitutional problems remain the same. So what we're going to be asserting is that the court's temporary restraining order from the original one still applies to the current executive order."

When asked whether the state's original arguments and standing remain valid, Ferguson said;
"We've been in communication with colleges and universities and businesses here in Washington state. We're confident that we'll be successful in asserting standing, in other words ... we have a dog in the fight so to speak. We're confident we'll meet that standing requirement just as we did with the original litigation. That said, is it a narrower group of people who are impacted by the travel ban, the revised one? You bet. But that doesn't mean — just because it's a smaller number of individuals who are impacted – that doesn't mean you can solve a constitutional problem of the magnitude that the revised ban still has."

"There's no question the new executive order has narrowed the harm. There's no question about that. And that is a success from our litigation in a significant way. But at the end of the day... during the campaign President Trump made it clear he wanted a Muslim ban. Advisers like Rudy Giuliani said, 'Hey, President Trump wants me to create a legal Muslim ban.' The intent behind the executive order targeting those Muslim countries still remains, and that is unconstitutional."

When asked whether Trump's early campaign statements about Muslim bans will hang over everything he does regarding travel and immigration; Ferguson said;
"The test is whether or not a motivating factor behind the travel ban was an improper religious bias against Muslims. As long as that is the case... then yes, anything he tries to do around travel bans would be constitutionally difficult for him to achieve. That's the test, and that's what we're seeking. That doesn't mean in some other context with immigration, he doesn't have broad powers – he does. But for this particular travel ban, he's going to run into this problem over and over again."


PLEASE NOTE: A transcript of the interview is available upon request, but is embargoed until airtime today, March 9 at 5:06 PM (ET).


Contact:

Ben Fishel, NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org