New México Attorney General Hector Balderas, part of a coalition of sixteen Attorneys General, filed an amicus brief in the Hawaii travel ban litigation, supporting Hawaii’s pending motion for injunctive relief in federal district court.
“The Trump Administration is refusing to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling placing much of the travel ban on hold and we will continue to go to court to ensure that President Trump and his administration follow the law,” said Attorney General Balderas. “I will stand up to the illegal actions of President Trump and protect New México’s economy, research facilities, hospitals and universities.”
Last week, Hawaii filed a motion in State of Hawaii and Ismail Elshikh v. Donald Trump, et al. to clarify the scope of the injunction that partially blocks the travel ban; this same coalition of Attorneys General filed an amicus brief in support of Hawaii’s first motion. While the district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined for procedural reasons to address that first motion, the Ninth Circuit observed that Hawaii could seek injunctive relief from the district court. Late Friday, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce, or alternatively, to modify the district court’s preliminary injunction. Today’s amicus brief filed by the coalition of Attorneys General supports that new motion.
The amicus brief signed by the Attorneys General of New Mexico, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The Supreme Court left the injunction in place in part, preventing the enforcement of the ban against people with a close familial relationship to persons in the United States. The Attorneys General argue that the Trump administration’s narrow interpretation of “close familial relationship” – which excludes grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and siblings-in-law – improperly and arbitrarily excludes from the protection of the injunction family members who fall squarely within its meaning and purpose, in violation of the Supreme Court’s directive.
“Amici have a strong interest in plaintiffs’ challenge to this Executive Order because many of its provisions have threatened—indeed, have already caused—substantial harm to our residents, communities, hospitals, universities, and businesses while courts continue to adjudicate the Order’s lawfulness,” the Attorneys General wrote.