Over a Dozen States Respond to President Trump's Executive Order

February 6th 2017

Kyle Jaeger

Attorneys general from 15 states and Washington D.C. joined Washington state and Minnesota in an action against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration on Monday.

Last week, a federal judge granted a motion filed by Washington's attorney general calling for a temporary restraining order against the immigration action, which bars people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and indefinitely blocks refugees from Syria. The Trump administration is in the process of appealing that ruling, which effectively suspended the immigration order, with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Minnesota joined Washington in its motion and accompanying lawsuit, which is still pending before the district court. On Monday, 15 other states — California Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont, plus Washington, D.C. — filed "friend-of-the-court" briefs urging the 9th Circuit to maintain the restraining order against the executive order.

The 23-page filing states that Trump's executive order "hinders the free exchange of information, ideas, and talent between the affected countries and the States, including at the States’ many educational institutions; harms the States’ life sciences, technology, health care, finance, and other industries, as well as innumerable small businesses throughout the States; and inflicts economic harm on the States through diminished tax revenues and other means."


What's more, the attorneys general argue that the order violates the Constitution, effectively discriminating against individuals based on their national origin and religion. The same argument — in addition to an allegation that the order restricts the constitutional right to due process for legal permanent residents — was made in the original motion and lawsuit last week.

It's unclear whether the document will have a significant impact on the appeals court ruling, which is expected to be announced as early as Tuesday. Constitutional law experts predict that the appeals court will uphold the temporary restraining order and that the Trump administration will appeal to the Supreme Court.