Judge James Robart of Washington state, whose ruling in February froze President Trump's first travel ban, decided Thursday that the president's revised travel ban is not subject to the prior injunction enforced against the first one.
This happened after a federal judge in Hawaii, followed by another in Maryland, put the revised travel ban on hold hours before it was set to take effect.
Plaintiffs in the case had argued that tenets of the president's new executive order, specifically that the 90-day suspension of to travel from six majority-Muslim countries and a 120-day freeze on refugees entering the U.S., were nearly identical to that of the first order.
The administration pushed back against that assertion, saying the new order is substantially different and completely lawful.
In his ruling, Robart says "the court agrees with Defendants that the limited scope of the court's prior injunction does not carry over to EO2 [the second executive order]." He continued: "The court cannot conclude that the policy changes in EO2 are minor or that EO2 represents nothing more than a 'renumbering' of policies that the court has already enjoined. Accordingly, the court declines to apply its preliminary injunction concerning EO1 to provisions contained in EO2."
Robart said unlike in the first executive order, the second one did not go into immediate effect, the travel ban did not include nationals from Iraq and the second order "eliminates the indefinite suspension of refugees from Syria that was in EO1 and contains no preference for religious-persecution claims of religious minorities."
He also noted other distinctions, including the second executive order's narrower scope, absence of limitations on asylum seekers and analysis of the conditions in each of the six countries listed in the travel ban.
The legal fight in Washington isn't over, however.
Robart has not yet ruled on a second case against the ban on immigrant visa-holders of the new executive order, in which the plaintiffs had requested a temporary restraining order. This temporary restraining order would not expand the scope of the one put in place by the ruling in Hawaii.