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Massachusetts AG Maura Healey Says She Will Sue Trump Over His New Travel Ban

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura HealeyMassachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
The Massachusetts AG has seen her national star skyrocket since the start of Trump's presidency. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is taking on President Donald Trump over his travel ban—again.

Massachusetts will join a lawsuit against Trump’s latest travel ban, according to a statement Healey released Thursday. The state was part of an earlier lawsuit against Trump’s original travel policy that the American Civil Liberties Union filed on behalf of two Massachusetts professors. Massachusetts will drop that initial lawsuit when it joins the second one early next week.

“President Trump’s second travel ban remains a discriminatory and unconstitutional attempt to make good on his campaign promise to implement a Muslim ban,” Healey said in a statement Thursday. “We are consolidating our legal efforts and joining fellow states, led by Washington, in continuing to challenge this administration’s unlawful immigration policies.”

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The White House released a revised travel ban on Monday after the original order signed by President Trump was struck down in court after causing nationwide chaos. The new measure, effective March 16, attempts to sidestep the legal pitfalls of the earlier order by imposing a 90-day restriction on citizens from six—rather than seven—majority-Muslim nations entering the U.S. The revised order does not apply to people from Iraq, it allows for more exemptions, and it does not issue an indefinite prohibition against Syrian refugees.

Despite the new measure’s tweaks, states have launched challenges to its constitutionality. Hawaii was the first, requesting emergency court intervention on Wednesday to halt the order. It asked a federal court in Hawaii to grant a temporary restraining order that should apply nationally, arguing that the measure would harm the state’s economy by restricting tourism and do damage to state universities by hampering their efforts to recruit students and faculty.

Massachusetts will join the suit that Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he’s filing against the new ban. Minnesota is joining Washington’s legal challenge as well, and New York and Oregon have also vowed to sign on. Ferguson said that despite the narrowing of the ban’s scope, the new version is still discriminatory against Muslims and will cause unnecessary harm to the state’s residents, universities and businesses.

The government’s stance is that the president has wide authority to implement immigration policy and that the travel rules are necessary to protect national security.

Healey, the first openly gay attorney general, has seen her national star skyrocket in the early days of Trump’s presidency. The day after his inauguration she vowed to be vigilant in challenging the legality of his policies. “The message from the people of Massachusetts is: We’ll see you in court,” Healey said on January 21 on the Boston Common alongside Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Healey was pointed in describing how she views her job in the Trump era. “We need to stand up for the rule of the law,” she said. “And if the administration attempts to carry out unconstitutional campaign promises, we need to be there to take that on.”