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State v. Trump

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

October 27, 2017

STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DONALD J. TRUMP, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER STAYING DECISION OF PLAINTIFFS' THIRD MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

          JAMES L. ROBART United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the court are (1) Plaintiffs State of Washington, State of California, State of Maryland, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State of New York, and State of Oregon's (collectively, “Plaintiff States”) motion for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) (3d TRO Mot. (Dkt. # 195)) prohibiting the enforcement of certain provisions of the Presidential Proclamation entitled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats, ” 82 Fed. Reg. 45, 161 (Sept. 27, 2017) (“EO3”); and (2) Plaintiff States' October 17, 2017, letter to the court (Letter (Dkt. # 200)) asking the court to rule on their motion for a TRO despite the entry of a worldwide TRO concerning EO3 by the federal district court for the District of Hawaii in Hawaii v. Trump, __ F.Supp.3d __, 2017 WL 4639560 (D. Haw. Oct. 17, 2017). The court has considered Plaintiff States' motion for a TRO and their October 17, 2017, letter, Defendants Donald J. Trump, United States Department of Homeland Security, Elaine C. Duke, Rex Tillerson, and United States of America's (collectively, “Defendants”) response to Plaintiff States' motion for a TRO (Resp. (Dkt. # 205)), [1] Plaintiff States' reply in support of their motion (Reply (Dkt. # 208)), the relevant portions of the record, and the applicable law. Being fully advised, the court stays its consideration of Plaintiff States' TRO motion as described below.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff States' lawsuit has now addressed two Executive Orders and one Presidential Proclamation concerning immigration. (See Compl. (Dkt. # 1); FAC (Dkt. #18); SAC (Dkt. # 152); TAC (Dkt. # 198).) The court briefly recounts the history of this suit before analyzing Plaintiff States' arguments.

         On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13, 769, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, ” 82 Fed. Reg. 8977 (Feb. 1, 2017) (“EO1”). EO1 directed a series of changes to the manner in which non-citizens may seek and obtain entry to the United States. (See generally id.) Section 3(c) of EO1 proclaimed that the continued entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants from countries referred to in Section 217(a)(12) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1187(a)(12) (i.e., Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” EO1 § 3(c). EO1 “suspend[ed] entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of th[e] order.” Id. Sections 5(a)-(b) of EO1 suspended the United States Refugee Admissions Program in its entirety for 120 days and then directed the Secretary of State to prioritize refugees who claim religious-based persecution when the program resumed, “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality.” Id. §§ 5(a)-(b). Section 5(c) of EO1 proclaimed that entry of Syrian refugees is “detrimental to the interests of the United States” and suspended their entry indefinitely. Id. § 5(c).

         EO1 went into effect as soon as President Trump signed it, and its impact was “immediate and widespread.” Washington v. Trump, 847 F.3d 1151, 1157 (9th Cir. 2017). “It was reported that thousands of visas were immediately canceled, hundreds of travelers with such visas were prevented from boarding airplanes bound for the United States or denied entry on arrival, and some travelers were detained.” Id.

         On January 30, 2017, the State of Washington filed this lawsuit challenging Sections 3(c), 5(a)-(c), and 5(e) of EO1.[2] (See generally Compl.) Washington asked the court to declare these provisions of EO1 unconstitutional and to enjoin their enforcement nationwide. (TRO Mot. (Dkt. # 3); Am. TRO Mot. (Dkt. # 19).) On February 3, 2017, the court granted the States' motion and enjoined enforcement of Sections 3(c), 5(a)-(c), and 5(e) of EO1 nationwide. (See TRO (Dkt. # 52).)

         On February 4, 2017, Defendants appealed the TRO to the Ninth Circuit, and moved to stay this court's order. (Not. of App. (Dkt. # 53).) The Ninth Circuit construed this court's TRO as a preliminary injunction and declined to stay the preliminary injunction pending Defendants' appeal of the order in the Ninth Circuit. See Washington, 847 F.3d at 1158, 1169. Meanwhile, a lawsuit challenging EO1 was also pending in the federal district court for the District of Hawaii. See Hawaii v. Trump, No. 1:17-00050 DKW-KSC (D. Haw.). On February 9, 2017, the federal district court in Hawaii stayed the proceedings in Hawaii v. Trump while this court's preliminary injunction of EO1 remained in place and pending resolution of the appeal in Washington v. Trump. See id., Dkt. # 32.

         On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order No. 13, 780, which was also entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, ” 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar. 6, 2017) (“EO2”), and expressly revoked EO1. See EO2 § 13. In addition, Defendants voluntarily dismissed their appeal of this court's injunction with respect to EO1. (See 9th Cir. Order (Dkt. # 111) (granting Defendants' unopposed motion to voluntarily dismiss appeal).) Thus, EO1 exited the stage as EO2 entered. Whereas EO1 suspended the entry into the United States of nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, EO2 omitted Iraq, but continued to suspend the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Compare EO2 § 2(c), with EO1 § 3(c). In addition, EO2 continued the 120-day suspension of the United States Refugee Admissions Program, but eliminated the indefinite suspension of the program for Syrian nationals. Compare EO2 § 6(a), with EO1 §§ 5(a)-(c).

         Plaintiff States filed a motion to amend their complaint to add allegations concerning EO2 (MFL SAC (Dkt. 118)), which the court granted on March 15, 2017 (Min. Entry (Dkt. # 150); see also SAC (Dkt. # 152)).[3] Plaintiff States also filed a motion for a TRO concerning certain provisions of EO2. (2d TRO Mot. (Dkt. # 148).)

         After the President executed EO2, the federal district court in Hawaii lifted its stay, and the plaintiffs in that action also filed (1) an amended complaint adding allegations concerning EO2, and (2) a TRO motion seeking to enjoin certain aspects of EO2. Hawaii v. Trump, No. 1:17-00050 DKW-KSC (D. Haw.), Dkt. ## 59-1, 60-1, 64, 65. On March 15, 2017, shortly after this court conducted a hearing on Plaintiff States' TRO motion concerning EO2 (see Dkt. # 150), the federal district court in Hawaii enjoined the enforcement of Sections 2 and 6 of EO2, Hawaii v. Trump, 241 F.Supp.3d 1119 (D. Haw. 2017). On March 16, 2017, the federal district court in Maryland followed the federal district court in Hawaii with its own order enjoining Section 2(c) of EO2. See Int'l Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, 241 F.Supp.3d 539, 544 (D. Md.), aff'd in part and vacated in part, 857 F.3d 554 (4th Cir. 2017), as amended (May 31, 2017), as amended (June 15, 2017), cert. granted, 137 S.Ct. 2080 (2017), and vacated and remanded, No. 16-1436, 2017 WL 4518553 (U.S. Oct. 10, 2017).

         By virtue of the orders issued out of the federal district courts in Hawaii and Maryland, Plaintiff States in this action were accorded all of the relief they requested. Accordingly, on March 17, 2017, this court stayed its consideration of Plaintiff States' motion for a TRO with respect to EO2 so long as the nationwide TRO issued by the Hawaii court or a preliminary injunction of equal scope remained in place. (See 3/17/17 Order (Dkt. # 164).) The court later granted Defendants' motion to stay the entire proceedings. (See 5/17/17 Order (Dkt. # 189).)

         The saga of EO2 is now complete. The district court decisions out of Hawaii and Maryland were ultimately appealed to their respective Courts of Appeal and then to the United States Supreme Court. Because the provisions of EO2 have expired by their own terms, the Supreme Court earlier this month vacated the judgments in the lower courts and remanded “with instructions to dismiss as moot the challenge[s] to [EO2].” See Trump v. Hawaii, __ U.S. __, 2017 WL ...


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