More U.S. states have joined the legal fight against President Donald Trump's new executive order temporarily barring all refugees as well as visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries.
A day after the state of Hawaii filed a court challenge, Washington state on March 9 said it would ask federal Judge James Robart to rule that his temporary restraining order against Trump's original travel order also applied to the revised travel order he issued this week.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said both Oregon and New York had asked to join his state's legal action.
It was Robart’s ruling that halted implementation of Trump's original January 27 order, which he said was aimed at preventing potential terrorists from entering the United States.
The new, more narrowly written order keeps a 90-day ban on issuing new U.S. entry visas to citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
The revised order does not impose a visa ban for Iraqi citizens or those from the listed countries who already are legal U.S. residents.
The state of Hawaii on March 8 filed the first court challenge to the new order.
A U.S. District Court in Honolulu scheduled a hearing for March 15, the day before the order is due to take effect.
In Washington state, Ferguson argued that the court, not the government, must decide if the new order differs enough from the original one so that it would not be covered by the existing temporary restraining order.
"We're asserting that the president cannot unilaterally declare himself free of the court's restraining order and injunction," Ferguson told reporters.
Ferguson’s original lawsuit claimed the travel order was unconstitutional and hurt the state's businesses and universities.
Hawaii said it is suing to protect its residents, businesses, schools, and its "sovereignty against illegal actions of President Donald J. Trump and the federal government."
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the administration is confident the revised executive order will withstand legal scrutiny.
With reporting by AP and Reuters