SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state’s attorney general declared on Jan. 30 that he was suing President Donald Trump over his temporary ban on immigration from seven countries with majority-Muslim populations, making it the first state to announce a legal action against the Trump administration over one of its policies.
Trump’s executive order also suspended the United States’ entire refugee program and set off nationwide protests over the weekend, including one that drew 3,000 people to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
“If successful it would have the effect of invalidating the president’s unlawful action nationwide,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said at a news conference.
Ferguson was one of 16 state attorneys general who released a statement on Jan. 29 calling Trump’s immigration action “un-American and unlawful.”
Trump has repeatedly said the order suspending immigration for citizens of the seven countries for 90 days is aimed at protecting the nation against extremists looking to attack Americans and U.S. interests.
Ferguson said the lawsuit against Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and high-ranking Trump administration officials would be filed on Jan. 30 in federal court in Seattle.
The complaint seeks to have key provisions of the executive order declared unconstitutional, Ferguson said. The state is also asking for a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the order.
“We are a country based on the rule of law and in a courtroom it is not the loudest voice that prevails, it’s the Constitution,” Ferguson said. “At the end of the day, either you’re abiding by the Constitution or you are not. And in our view, the president is not adhering to the Constitution when it comes to this executive action.”
Declarations of support from Amazon and Expedia — two Washington state-based businesses — will be filed with the lawsuit, said Ferguson, who was joined at the news conference by Gov. Jay Inslee.