President Trump and a number of his surrogates have said that the new, revised immigration order will certainly pass legal muster.
Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” to discuss the upcoming legal challenges. Fox Insider reported:
“We anticipated several states will challenge [it],” Conway said.
She said Trump’s ban specifically targets countries known to “harbor, train or export terrorists,” and called Iraq’s removal from the list “a great signal.”
Conway said that over the past month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly successfully worked with the Iraqi government to qualify them to be removed from the list.
“We’ve made significant changes and we know it will pass legal muster,” she said.
And as the legal challenges stacked up — so far seven states have filed legal actions against the new order — opponents of the order went to the one man they thought would be on their side: Seattle U.S. District Court Judge James Robart.
Robart was the federal judge who imposed the restraining order that halted the Trump administration’s initial attempt at a travel ban — and halted it nationwide.
But Robart was unwilling to extend his initial ruling to over the second order, saying that a new motion would have to be filed.
The reason for his hesitation is likely the far narrower scope of the order — a change that has won over critics of the first ban like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Graham told The Hill:
“I congratulate the Administration for modifying the original order to ensure that it is prospective in application, protective of those with valid visas and legal status, and exempts Iraqis, as five thousand Americans are currently fighting alongside them against ISIL.
I believe the new order will withstand legal challenges as it’s drafted in a fashion as to not be a religious ban, but a ban on individuals coming from compromised governments and failed states.”
The new order eliminates Iraq from the list of countries, reducing the restricted nations to six. Additionally, all religious language has been removed from the order — and the indefinite ban on the acceptance of Syrian refugees has been lifted as well.