President Trump’s latest immigration order may be different enough that the federal court injunction against the old one can be dismissed, a Seattle judge said Friday. Or it may not be.
U.S. District Judge James Robart said he didn’t have enough information in front of him yet to decide a dispute between the U.S. Justice Department and the Washington Attorney General’s office over the new order, set to go into effect on March 16.
Federal attorneys notified the court on Monday that the new order had revoked the original executive order, which Robart blocked last month after Attorney General Bob Ferguson challenged its constitutionality. The judge’s injunction shouldn’t keep the federal government from enforcing the new order, they said.
On Thursday, Ferguson’s staff filed a response to that notice, saying that parts of the new order have the same effect as the original order, and the federal government can’t unilaterally decide they can enforce it. The state plans to amend its original lawsuit no later than March 15, they said.
Robart said he couldn’t decide who’s right until one side or the other files a proper motion with an adequate explanation of why he should agree. He won’t make a decision “until such time as an amended complaint that addresses the new executive order is properly before the court.”
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