Next month, the travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump on citizens of six Muslim-majority countries is going to face its second challenge in court and the measure is now being backed by more Republican states. However, one Democratic state attorney chose to back out of the legal battle this week. According to some legal experts, the realignment of the states is a signal that the government’s case has been strengthened due to the changes made in the original executive order last month. ‘A friend of the court’ brief was filed on Thursday by sixteen democratic state attorneys general as well as the District of Columbia.
They are supporting Hawaii in its move to block the executive order issued on March 6, which was put on hold by two federal judges before it could be implemented. It is argued by Hawaii and other states that the US Constitution is violated by the ban due to its discrimination against Muslims. However, Thursday’s brief wasn’t supported by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, even though he had opposed the original ban that had been signed on Jan 27 by Trump. The brief was filed in San Francisco in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the meanwhile, Texas, which had been alone initially when it supported the January order, has now managed to gain the support of 14 Republican states. They filed a legal brief on April 10 in which they urged the ban to move forward. These states basically support the argument of the government that the president holds the authority for implementing immigration policy. They also claim that the ban is essential for preventing terrorist attacks. The President imposed the original ban for the purpose of national security and he said that it was necessary for heading off attacks by Islamic militants.
It had been applied to seven Muslim-majority nations and had also put a stop to the entry of Syrian refugees in the US. But, a flurry of legal challenges rose immediately, after which it was narrowed and revised. Experts said that the second order had been written more carefully as opposed to the first and was probably because most states weren’t interested in joining it before. Only days after the new president’s inauguration, his ban was implemented in January, which led to chaos. Nearly two dozen lawsuits were filed and there were also protests at the airport. The order was halted by a judge in Seattle and the ruling was upheld by the 9th circuit.
The order was re-crafted by the White House for excluding the legal permanent residents and also removing Iraq from the list of countries included in the ban. Yemen, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Sudan are part of the new order. Language was also dropped in the new ban and it showed preference for refugees who are considered a religious minority in their own country. The changes were aimed at taking away the ‘standing’ used by the plaintiffs in the lawsuits that were filed.