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Washington Attorney General Deciding Whether To Sue Again Over Trump's New Executive Order

Will James
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a news conference on March 6, 2017.

Washington state's attorney general led the charge against President Donald Trump's first executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. 

Now that Trump has revised the order, he's deciding whether to sue again. 

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson spoke at a news conference hours after Trump issued the new order Monday. He said his staff is reviewing it.

They're looking into whether they can make the same case that their initial lawsuit sought to make: that the travel restrictions illegally target Muslims.

"That concern that we laid out in our original filing about the intent behind that original executive order -- religiously motivated, targeting Muslim countries -- that concern remains," Ferguson said.

He said his staff will also work to determine whether Washington state businesses or universities are harmed by the new order.

That formed part of the basis of the attorney general's initial lawsuit, which resulted in a federal judge putting the original order's implementation on hold across the United States.

Trump signed a revised order Monday that's narrower in scope.  Ferguson expressed satisfaction with the changes, saying the president "capitulated" in the face of Washington's lawsuit. 

The new order restricts travel from six countries, down from seven. Iraq is now off the list.

Ferguson said the new order also makes it explicit that green-card holders and dual citizens aren't affected. Confusion erupted at airports over whether the original order applied to green card holders.

Trump's new order still bans refugees from entering the United States for 120 days. But it does not subject Syrian refugees to an indefinite ban, as the original order did. 

The new order is set to take effect March 16. Ferguson said he expects to decide this week on whether to sue to block it.

Ferguson said the future of his office's initial lawsuit is unclear, now that there is a new order superseding the original one. 

Will James is a former KNKX reporter and was part of the special projects team, reporting and producing podcasts such as Outsiders and The Walk Home.