Washington state is asking a judge who blocked U.S. President Donald Trump's first travel ban to now block his new one, with New York state and Massachusetts vowing to join the litigation.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the state will ask James Robart, a federal judge, to extend his temporary restraining order against the first ban to Trump's revised order.
Washington was the first state to sue over the original travel ban, which resulted in Robart in Seattle halting its implementation around the country.
Ferguson said it's not the government, but the court, that gets to decide whether the revised order is different enough that it would not be covered by previous temporary restraining order.
"It cannot be a game of whack-a-mole for the court," he said in a press conference in Seattle on Thursday. "In our view, this new executive order contains many of the same legal weaknesses as the first and reinstates some of the identical policies as the original."
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman vowed on Thursday to join Washington's efforts, saying in a statement that "President Trump's latest executive order is a Muslim ban by another name."
The attorney general in Massachusetts said on Twitter that Trump's new travel ban remains "discriminatory, unconstitutional attempt" at a Muslim ban and that the state is "consolidating efforts and joining fellow states" in challenging Trump's executive order.
'I see it as a racist thing': Hawaii AG on ban
Hawaii on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Trump's revised travel ban, saying the order will harm its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students.
On Thursday, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin praised Ferguson's efforts to block Trump's travel bans.
"We totally appreciated the Washington AG for leading the way from the very beginning," Chin told reporters at a press conference in Honolulu.
Chin agreed on the importance of beefing up national security, but warned Trump's ban is outdated, referencing how Congress enacted Section 1152 of Title 8 of the U.S. Code in 1965 which states: "Except as specifically provided … no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence."
Chin said the executive order would brand someone from the six countries banned as "presumptively a terrorist."
"This bring us back to a chapter I don't think we should repeat," he said.
Chin, who is a Democrat, also rejected the notion that his efforts to stop the Republican president's travel ban are political.
"I don't see this as a Democrat thing. I see it as a racist thing," he said.
White House 'very confident,' says Sean Spicer
White House spokesman Sean Spicer says the administration is confident the revised U.S. travel ban will stand up to legal scrutiny.
Spicer said during the White House briefing Thursday that administration officials "feel very confident with how that was crafted and the input that was given."
Trump's revised ban omits Iraq on the list of Muslim-majority countries. It still includes Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. It also temporarily shuts down the U.S. refugee program.
Unlike the initial order, the new order says current visa holders will not be affected and removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.