Washington State and Minnesota Challenge Executive Order

Latest Update (2/14/2017):

The panel of three judges maintained that courts hold the authority to review executive action when the Constitution may be up for debate. The court ruled that procedural protections apply not only to U.S. citizens, but to all people within the nation, including immigrants. The court said that these protections apply to immigrants whether an immigrant's presence is legal, temporary, or permanent. They decided that Trump's Executive Order fails to provide procedural due process. However, this may not be over; many are expecting the U.S. federal government to appeal to the Supreme Court.

On January 30th, 2017, the state of Washington filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge President Trump's Executive Order from January 27th, 2017. The state of Washington also filed a motion to ask the court to grant a nationwide temporary restraining order.

On February 1st, 2017, Minnesota joined the lawsuit as well, and an amended complaint was filed. Later, on February 3, the nationwide temporary restraining order was granted in the challenge to Trump's order banning Muslims and refugees.

Judge James L. Robart, U.S. federal judge in the District Court for the Western District of Washington, wrote, "The court concludes that the circumstances brought before it today are such that it must intervene to fulfill its constitutional role in our tri-part government."

On February 4th, the Department of Justice filed an emergency motion for administrative stay and motion for stay pending appeal. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request for an immediate administrative stay. The court decided that Washington and Minnesota's opposition to the emergency motion is due February 5 at 11:59pm. Additionally, the Department of Justice's reply was to be due February 6 at 3pm PST.

The Joint Declaration

A group of ten former U.S. national security, intelligence, and foreign policy officials offered a joint declaration. The declaration stated, "We all must agree that the U.S. faced real threats from terrorist networks and must take all prudent and effective steps to combat them, including the appropriate vetting of travelers to the U.S. We are nevertheless unaware of any specific threat that would justify the travel ban...We view the Order as one that ultimately undermined the national security of the United States, rather than making us safer. In our professional opinion, this Order cannot be justified on national security or foreign policy grounds."

The complete joint declaration can be read here. The group included:

  • Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, and member of the CIA External Advisory Board and Defense Policy Board;
  • Avril Haines, former Deputy Director of the CIA and former Deputy National Security Advisor;
  • Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA and former Director of the CIA;
  • John Kerry, former Secretary of State;
  • John McLaughlin, former Deputy Director of the CIA;
  • Lisa Monaco, former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and former Deputy National Security Advisor;
  • Michael Morell, former Acting Director of the CIA and former Deputy Director of the CIA;
  • Janet Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security;
  • Leon Panetta, former Director of the CIA and former Secretary of Defense; and lastly,
  • Susan Rice, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN and former National Security Advisor.

What happens now?

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on February 7, 2017. The judges considered whether to suspend the temporary injunction of the Order. The panel said the ruling could come later this week.