Trump Loses Bid to Pause Seattle Lawsuit Over Travel Ban

  • President sought to buy time as appeal process continues
  • Washington state eager to dig into evidence to fight Trump

The U.S. Justice Department lost its bid to pause a legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s immigration and travel restrictions by the states of Washington and Minnesota.

U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled Monday that evidence-gathering can start immediately, rejecting a move by the Trump administration to buy itself time as the appeals process continues and the White House considers revising its executive order.

“I’m not prepared to slow this down if the claims are that the executive order is causing harm,” he told lawyers during a telephone conference.

Washington state’s attorney general told Robart he wants to move ahead quickly in his lawsuit challenging the president’s ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.

Given the Trump administration’s “stated national security concerns, and the public interests at stake, the states respectfully submit that discovery should proceed without delay,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Monday in a court filing.

Justice Department lawyers had argued that it’s best to keep the case on hold until a San Francisco-based appeals court decides the next step. Trump said Friday he may issue a revised executive order, a day after a three-judge appeals panel refused to undo the Seattle judge’s ruling blocking the travel restrictions nationwide.

The Washington state case is State of Washington v. Trump, 17-cv-00141, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle).

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