In a resounding refutation of the President’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim majority countries, a Seattle federal judge put a halt to what many call Trump‘s “Muslim ban.”
According to The Seattle Times, U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled this Friday in favor of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who filed the lawsuit against the ban.
The ruling puts a temporary halt on the enforcement of the ban “on a nationwide basis,” rebuking lawyers who said the ban was legal.
“The Constitution prevailed today,” Ferguson said in a news conference after the ruling. “No one is above the law — not even the president.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a swift response:
“At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate,” Spicer said in a written statement this Friday. “The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.”
Curiously, the White House issues a second statement with amended language, taking out the word “outrageous.”
From The Seattle Times:
Trump’s executive order, signed Jan. 27, indefinitely blocks entry to the United States for Syrian refugees and temporarily suspends entry to other refugees and citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.
Since the order, the State Department said it had canceled up to 60,000 visas of people from those nations.
In his ruling, Robart said Washington had met the high burden to justify a restraining order by showing that Trump’s order was causing “immediate and irreparable injury,” and that the state had a substantial likelihood of winning its underlying lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the travel ban.
Making matters more complicated, another judge in Massachusetts ruled in favor of Trump, meaning that the two rulings may have to face off in the Supreme Court.
“You might get on a plane and there might be a different ruling in the middle; we warn people that there’s a chance of that happening,”Jorge Barón, director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, said. “At the same time, I’d also want to make sure that people who are trying to be reunified with their families are taking advantage of this ruling.”
Ferguson based his argument on the charge that Trump’s travel ban targets Muslims, which is a violation of their basic human rights. He also used Trump’s own words against him, such as when he promise to implement “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Trump’s words were entered as evidence that he was “motivated by animus and a desire to harm a particular group.”
According to The Seattle Times, over 21,000 Washington State residents were born in one of the seven countries on Trump’s list, as well as over 7,000 immigrants who reside in the state with no citizenship.
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