U.S. District Judge James Robart temporarily suspended a controversial executive order signed by President Donald Trump. The Seattle Times reports that the ruling made in a federal court on Friday was a major victory for a lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“The Constitution prevailed today,” Ferguson said. “No one is above the law — not even the President.”
The lawsuit, filed on January 30, claims that Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations violates the U.S. Constitution. The nationwide travel ban was put on hold after the State of Minnesota joined the lawsuit requesting a restraining order.
The Justice Department, representing the Trump administration, failed to convince the Seattle federal judge that Trump’s executive order has not harmed U.S. citizens. The judge granting the suspension of Trump’s executive order on immigration was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration played down reports that chaos in airports after Trump signed the executive order was as bad as it looked. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the damage was minimal.
“Three hundred and twenty-five thousand people flew into this country from airports and 109 people were affected and slowed down in their travel,” Spicer said. “I understand that is an inconvenience, but at the end of the day that is a small price to pay as opposed to somebody losing their life because a terrorist attack was admitted.”
Multiple reports have emerged contradicting statements made by the Trump administration. It’s unclear exactly how many visas were suspended after Trump signed the controversial executive order, but the number could be as high as 100,000 and as low as 50,000.
The suspension of Trump’s executive order in a federal court was a result of Washington and Minnesota arguing that U.S. citizens have been injured by Trump’s executive order.
Washington and Minnesota aren’t the only two states winning legal battles against the executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program and imposing a travel ban for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen.
New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia filed separate lawsuits this week. Each state’s attorney general has the legal power to file broad lawsuits on behalf of their state’s citizens.
Politico reports that a federal court in Virginia on Friday rejected efforts made by the Justice Department to settle a case on behalf of green card holders detained at Dulles Airport.
“It’s obvious that [Trump’s executive order] put hundreds of thousands of people into a state of great discomfort,” U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema said. “People are really upset.”
Chicago Tribune reports that Ferguson is calling for provisions to Trump’s executive order to be thrown out.
“It’s my responsibility as attorney general to defend the rule of law, to uphold the Constitution on behalf of the people of this state. And that’s what we’re doing.”
The biggest unanswered question is, what happens next? Friday’s ruling in Seattle is a major defeat for Trump’s executive order moving forward. The case will likely be appealed by the Trump administration. It also likely the case will ultimately make it to the Supreme Court for a final ruling.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the ruling against Trump’s executive order a major victory for all Americans.
“This ruling is a victory for the Constitution and for all of us who believe this un-American executive order will not make us safer,” Schumer said.
A visa that was rescinded after Trump’s executive order could potentially be reinstated very soon. The immense legal implications of a federal judge temporarily overturning an executive order signed by the president will no doubt bring clarity to the future of Trump’s travel ban sooner than later.
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]