Washington’s travel ban lawsuit is back in court

Feb 14, 2017, 5:20 AM | Updated: 5:29 am
Robart consent decree...
U.S. District Judge James Robart. (United States Courts via AP, File)
(United States Courts via AP, File)

A federal judge ruled Monday that the lawsuit by Washington state and Minnesota challenging President Donald Trump’s travel ban can move ahead even as an appellate court considers a preliminary injunction in the case.

The Trump Administration wanted to delay the case while the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides two things: whether a larger, 11-judge panel will review a government request to allow the ban and whether the existing preliminary injunction can stay in place.

Related: Judges threatened in Trump executive order case

U.S. District Judge James Robart decided Monday that the case can still move ahead. It was Robart who, two weeks ago, issued the temporary restraining order that put the seven-nation travel ban on ice. Robart now wants both sides to argue over whether the ban should be blocked for good.

“This is what we wanted,” said Noah Purcell, solicitor general of the Washington Attorney General’s office.

Travel ban case continues

Broadly speaking, three federal court decisions currently are in play, two at the 9th Circuit and the primary one in Robart’s Western District Court.

The most immediate decision at the 9th Circuit is a judge’s request that the entire active court revisit the three-judge panel’s ruling last week to leave the temporary restraining order in place.

The request for what’s called an en banc hearing (meaning the entire bench) means that the whole court could reverse the three-judge ruling – but only if they first agree to have the hearing at all. If the active judges do vote to have an en banc hearing, an 11-justice panel would look at same issues the three-judge panel ruled against in its decision to leave the restraining order in place.

Whether or not the 9th Circuit court holds the en banc hearing, it also must decide on the overall issue of the temporary restraining order. In the three-judge panel’s ruling last week, it decided that Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order is, in essence, a preliminary injunction.

Unlike a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction is a much tougher and indefinite legal block to the executive order. It too needs to be legally settled. The judge told the DOJ to provide a legal brief on the preliminary injunction by March 3. The state then gets an opportunity to respond. This process likely would take a minimum of two months.

And lastly, in Robart’s court is the heart of the dispute: Is the President Trump’s Executive Order, “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist Entry into the United States,” constitutional or not? On Monday, Robart ruled that the case can proceed in his court while the other issues in the 9th are being decided.

On Monday, Robart has directed both sides to prepare to move that case forward to decide if a permanent injunction is in order.

But all of the legal disputes could be scuttled if the Trump administration decides to withdraw the original executive order and, possibly, replace it with a new one – something the administration has hinted at.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, however, has vowed to challenge any replacement executive order if it also presents constitutional questions.

Local News

Lynnwood Clinic...
L.B. Gilbert

Lynnwood opioid clinic receives DOH license amid controversy

The Washington DOH just gave the final approval for a proposed opioid treatment clinic to open in Lynnwood.
10 hours ago
L.B. Gilbert

Regional Homeless Authority requests $12 billion for 5 year plan

How much money would it take to solve homelessness in Seattle? The KCRHA estimates that it would take roughly $11.8 billion to address homelessness.
10 hours ago
Judge, pot shop robbery...
Lisa Brooks

WA Corrections pays $600K settlement in sexual harassment lawsuit

Washington's Corrections Department has agreed to pay $600,000 dollars to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former intern.
10 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

‘A double life’: Skagit County pastor accused of dealing drugs, money laundering

A Skagit County pastor who “admitted he leads a double life” was arrested in January with nearly three pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine
10 hours ago
A shopper checks out an item in a Target store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, t...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
10 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Western Washington Gets Real: Pacific Northwest native wowing the opera world

Her astonishing voice has been heard around the world, but it was discovered and nurtured right here in the Pacific Northwest.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Washington’s travel ban lawsuit is back in court