President Donald Trump’s widely popular travel ban — intended to keep Americans safe from radical Islamic terror — is under attack by Democrats and liberal lawyers.
The day before it is supposed to go into effect, the revised travel ban will face challenges by liberal lawyers in federal courtrooms across the country on Wednesday.
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In Maryland, a U.S. judge will hear arguments from the American Civil Liberties Union and others who want to stop the new directive and more than a half-dozen states are trying to derail the executive order affecting travelers from six nations former President Barack Obama declared terror hotspots.
Hawaii’s lawsuit is heading to federal court in Honolulu, while Washington state, which successfully sued to block the original ban, wants its own hearing before a federal judge in Seattle. Five other states have joined Washington’s challenge.
They’re teaming up to attack various parts of the plan. Here’s what they’re plotting:
Hawaii will argue that the new order will harm its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students. Ismail Elshikh, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the ban will prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting.
The federal government will argue that the allegations are pure speculation. Justice Department lawyers also say the president is authorized to restrict or suspend entry into the United States.
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In Washington state, Attorney General Bob Ferguson is pushing for a hearing before Judge James Robart, who halted the original ban last month. Ferguson wants Robart to apply the ruling to the new ban.
Federal lawyers say the revised travel ban is “substantially different” from the original directive.
Immigrant advocacy groups and the ACLU are also suing in Maryland. They will ask a judge there early Wednesday to issue an injunction on a technicality, saying it’s illegal to reduce the number of refugees in the middle of a fiscal year. The lawsuit is broader, but the ACLU expects a ruling on that part of the case even if other aspects of the ban are blocked elsewhere.
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According to the administration, these challenges have little chance of success. The travel ban is about national security, the White House argues, and the revised order specifies that people from the listed countries “warrant additional scrutiny in connection with our immigration policies because the conditions in these countries present heightened threats.”
Some legal scholars have questioned whether states have standing to bring their cases, citing limits the Supreme Court has placed on when states can sue the federal government.
Michael McConnell, a constitutional law professor at Stanford Law School, has said he is “highly skeptical” that states can sue over this issue.
The Associated Press contributed to this article