State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Monday that he is challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees, calling it unconstitutional and asking for a temporary restraining order.
“No one is above the law — not even the President,” Ferguson said in a statement. “And in the courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails. It’s the Constitution.”
In documents filed Jan. 30 against Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and high-ranking Trump Administration officials, Ferguson argues that the order violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, infringes individuals’ constitutional right to due process and contravenes the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.
On Jan. 28, a federal judge in Brooklyn issued an order enjoining the Trump Administration from enforcing its Executive Order as to certain individuals who have arrived in the United States. Ferguson’s office states that the attorney general’s lawsuit is broader in scope and seeks to invalidate entire sections of the Executive Order nationwide.
Ferguson’s complaint asserts that the President’s actions are “separating Washington families, harming thousands of Washington residents, damaging Washington’s economy, hurting Washington-based companies, and undermining Washington’s sovereign interest in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.”
The attorney general’s motion asks the U.S. District Court to declare key provisions of the immigration order unconstitutional. He also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to halt implementation of the order.
Ferguson’s announcement comes after protests and statements from political and other leaders across the country condemning Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants.
Gov. Jay Inslee called the order cruel and illegal at a press conference at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Jan. 28. He also praised Ferguson during a press conference on Monday.
“Until Congress takes this administration to task for the obvious moral and legal injuries suffered by innocent, law-abiding people entering our country, it is up to states to protect and promote the rights of the people who reside in our borders,” he said.
Several other Washington elected officials also voiced opposition to the executive order.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) called Trump’s move “abhorrent,” while King County Executive Dow Constantine said that it goes against America’s history and ideals.
“The administration’s action against immigrants and refugees betrays the fundamental principle that has guided our nation since its inception: that we welcome people who come here fleeing tyranny, fleeing oppression, seeking a better life. We do not build walls. We demand that they be torn down,” he said.
King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci also called the ban unconcstitutional in a statement. She reiterated the off-stated fact that the United States is a nation of immigrants.
““Here in King County, we have some of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country. In my district, the city of Bellevue is now the largest city in this state where minorities are the majority. We benefit greatly from the knowledge and values that immigrants bring to our region,” she said.
Major Washington state institutions supported the Attorney General’s lawsuit through declarations filed alongside the complaint. In their declarations, Amazon and Expedia set forth the detrimental ways the Executive Order impacts their operations and their employees. Starbucks also stated that they will hire 10,000 refugees.
For more on the protest at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, go to this article from our sister publication.