On February 3, a federal district court temporarily blocked Donald Trump’s attempt to prevent Muslims from entering the United States.
The temporary restraining order was issued by Judge James L. Robart in the U.S. District Court in Seattle. After Trump issued the executive order on January 27, blocking any from seven different Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., Washington State’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit, arguing the order was discriminatory and could even have effect on American Muslims. Minnesota quickly joined the suit.
Federal attorneys argued that states can’t challenge executive orders. Apparently, Robart disagrees; until further court decision on this same case, all immigrants with valid visa can’t be blocked, detained or deported without basis.
While the case is still ongoing, U.S. Dept. of Customs must cease the procedures it already began, detaining immigrants, even handcuffing children in a process of questioning and screening.
Robart’s restraining order adds weight to another recent court decision on this same subject. On January 29, another federal court ruled that anyone who had already entered the U.S. with a valid visa could not be deported.
The executive order affected any citizen of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen attempting to enter the United States, blocking them for a minimum 90-day period. Protests launched nationwide, however, and even at U.S. airports where questionable procedures – received by many to be discriminatory – were immediately underway following the order.
What might be surprising to many is that Judge Robart, who issued this restraining order against the hopes of Trump, was first appointed to his federal court by George W. Bush, the last Republican president, and whose stance on the countries in question could be similar to Trump’s.
This isn’t the first decision made by Robart that contrasts with the Republican Party and conservatism, however. In an August 2016 court case, Robart noted the very high rate of unarmed African Americans who were killed by police, emphasizing “black lives matter.”
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