Doubt Trump's new travel ban will avoid legal action

  • 02/03/2017
Donald Trump (Getty)
Donald Trump (Getty)

In formulating a new executive order limiting travel to the United States, US President Donald Trump has promised to make the directive harder to fight successfully in court than the one he issued in January.

One way the administration will likely try to do that, legal experts say, is to shape the order more narrowly to undercut the opportunity for states and other opponents to sue by showing courts they have the ability to argue the President's order causes them harm.

But legal experts said a new order, which a White House source said was expected this week, was unlikely to fully eliminate the ability of challengers to pursue legal actions.

More than two dozen lawsuits were filed in US courts against the initial travel ban, which temporarily barred travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In one case, which got the order temporarily suspended, the state of Washington claimed the ban affected Washington residents living and working legally in the US as permanent residents known as green card holders.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in the Washington case, said the ban likely violated the state's due process rights and suspended it.

The 9th Circuit also ruled that Washington had legal standing to challenge the ban, over objections from the Department of Justice.

By excluding legal permanent residents from a new order, something the administration said is likely, the President would make it harder for opponents to challenge the ban.

Mr Trump says travel limitations are necessary to protect the United States from attacks by Islamist militants. Americans were deeply divided over the measure.

A conservative US think-tank has tallied the number of Americans killed in terror attacks on US soil by citizens of the seven banned countries.

The Cato Institute looked at the period from 1975 to 2015 and found:

  • from Iraq: 0
  • from Iran: 0
  • from Syria: 0
  • from Yemen: 0
  • from Libya: 0
  • from Somalia: 0
  • from Sudan: 0.

Stephen Legomsky, former chief counsel for US Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Barack Obama, noted that, "in general the Constitution does not apply to people outside the United States, but that is not iron-clad".

Reuters / Newshub.