Donald Trump’s executive order targeting refugees and Muslims was dealt its most serious blow yet on Friday, with a George W. Bush-appointed federal judge in Seattle putting an immediate nationwide halt to the immigration ban.
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U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled in favor of the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota on a lawsuit they brought seeking to overturn the order limiting travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
“The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury,” Robart said, according to local press reports.
The temporary ruling from Robart, an appointee of President George W. Bush, appeared to be the most sweeping legal rebuke to the order since Trump issued it a week ago.
Here are the remarks made by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson shortly after the decision came down:
It’s obviously a historic decision and an important one for the rule of law and for the people of the state of Washington and the people of our country. I said from the beginning, it is not the loudest voice that prevails in a courtroom – it’s the Constitution. And that’s what we heard from Judge Robart today. I want to very clear about what his decision does … Judge Robart’s decision – effective immediately, effective now – puts a halt to President Trump’s unconstitutional and unlawful executive order. I want to repeat that: It puts a stop to it immediately – nationwide. So for all those individuals, that relief is there. Folks can travel to this country as they could before the executive order … That relief is immediate.
“What the judge announced today was nationwide,” he added. “The president’s executive order does not apply.”
While it’s only a temporary block on the president’s unpopular and legally dubious ban, it’s a devastating loss for the new administration just two short weeks into Trump’s presidency, when he is already seeing his approval numbers sink to record lows.
While the White House may be feeling the heat on Friday night, millions of people around the globe are – for now – breathing a sigh of relief.