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14 Blue States, Plus Iowa, Join Hawaii’s Legal Challenge to Trump Travel Ban

Fourteen states that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election plus one state that Donald Trump won (Iowa) and the District of Columbia have filed a brief supporting Hawaii’s continued legal challenge to the temporary travel and refugee ban in Executive Order 13780, signed by the president on March 6.

The fourteen blue states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

New York filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of itself, the fourteen other states, and the District of Columbia on Monday.

The only states won by Hillary Clinton that have not yet joined the legal challenge are Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

Clinton won the state of Hawaii, one of the plaintiffs in the case, easily, 62 percent to 30 percent.

The brief argued:

The federal government’s restrictive definition of close familial relationships will result in the improper exclusion of numerous foreign nationals who have the requisite bona fide connection to a person in the United States, despite the Supreme Court’s unequivocal holding that this Court’s protections for such persons remain in full force.

Accordingly, this Court should enter an order finding that such a restricted definition is impermissible and either enjoining defendants’ violation of the injunction by their application of the unlawful guidance, or modifying the injunction to specify in detail the relationships within its broad penumbra.

The case is before U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who ruled against the Trump administration in Hawaii v. Trump, which challenged the temporary travel ban and temporary refugee ban in Executive Order 13780, in a March 15 temporary restraining order and then again in a March 29 preliminary injunction.

That case was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court by the Trump administration, which affirmed Watson’s ruling.

The Trump administration’s appeal of that initial decision was decided by the Supreme Court on June 26  in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, which was a qualified victory for the Trump administration.

Hours after the Ninth Circuit said no on Friday to Judge Watson’s denial of the state of Hawaii’s motion — asking him to “clarify” the Supreme Court’s definition of “bona fide relationship” — the state filed yet another legal challenge to the travel ban with Judge Watson.

In that new motion, Hawaii claimed the Government “intends to continue implementing Executive Order 13780 in a manner that conflicts with the portions of [Judge Watson’s March 29, 2017] preliminary injunction.”

The Government must file its response by Wednesday, which would be the earliest date by which Judge Watson could render his decision.

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