Washington state AG ‘confident’ in case against immigration order

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Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a press conference outside U.S. District Court on February 3, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Ferguson filed a state lawsuit challenging key sections of President Trump's immigration Executive Order as illegal and unconstitutional. Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a press conference in Seattle last week. Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images

A top state official battling the Trump administration over its immigration ban said on Monday he was “confident” a federal court would uphold a temporary stay on the executive order.

Bob Ferguson, the attorney general for Washington state, one of two states challenging the executive order, said in a PBS NewsHour interview that he believed a panel of judges on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would uphold a federal judge’s decision to suspend parts of the immigration policy.

A three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Tuesday, the next phase in a fast-moving legal battle that could wind up at the Supreme Court.

“We feel confident with our case, not just at the Ninth Circuit but frankly all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court” if the case makes it that far, Ferguson told PBS NewsHour’s John Yang.

The executive order placed a temporary 90-day ban on refugees entering the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries, an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, and barred all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days.

Ferguson and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson argued in court that several provisions in the policy were unconstitutional.

In a ruling last week, federal Judge James Robart placed a nationwide stay on parts of the ban, which caused chaos at airports in the U.S. and around the world after President Trump signed the order last month.

President Trump criticized Robart over the weekend on Twitter, calling him a “so-called judge” and claiming the ruling jeopardized national security. The president’s Twitter post on Robart drew a rebuke from Democrats and some Republicans.

Ferguson defended Robart in the NewsHour interview, saying he was a “very serious, well-respected judge.” Robart was appointed by President George W. Bush.

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