SEATTLE (AP) — The Justice Department wants a federal appeals court to put President Trump's travel ban case on hold until he issues a new order, but the states who sued to stop the ban want the case to move forward.
A government motion filed Friday says all actions on the appeal should be stopped because Trump intends to issue a new executive order that addresses some of the constitutional concerns raised by his first action.
His executive order temporarily banned travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries and paused the U.S. refugee program.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said they want the court to keep the case on track.
"Despite tweeting, 'SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!' President Trump continues to seek delay after delay in these legal proceedings," Ferguson said in an email to The Associated Press. "We will oppose this latest effort to postpone that day in court."
Washington state and Minnesota sued to stop Trump's executive order, and a federal judge put it on hold.
The government appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court set a schedule that requires the government to file an opening brief by March 3. The Justice Department wants that plan set aside for now, but the states want the filing to begin.
In a motion filed late Friday, the attorney generals for the two states said "there appears to have been a lack of communication between the Department of Justice and the White House."
While the Justice Department seeks to stop the appeals case, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters during a White House briefing on Thursday that they believe they will prevail "on the merits" of the case before the 9th Circuit.
Spicer said the president is "fighting this on both fronts, making sure that we keep evolving through the court system" on the existing executive order while drafting a new one.
The states said "the president has not rescinded the executive order and has not issued a new executive order." Because Trump won't rescind the current order, court briefings on the preliminary injunction should proceed, the states said.