Federal judge blocks Trump’s immigration ban *UPDATE*: DOJ will file emergency stay

Federal judge blocks Trump’s immigration ban *UPDATE*: DOJ will file emergency stay
Judge James Robart (Image: YouTube screen grab)

The other shoe dropped yesterday around dinnertime on the East Coast. A federal judge in Seattle, who was nominally appointed by President George W. Bush (see updates), issued a temporary nationwide restraining order overriding Donald Trump’s temporary executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

From The Hill:

Judge James Robart, who was appointed by former President George Bush in 2003, ruled the executive order would be stopped nationwide, effective immediately.

“The Constitution prevailed today,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement after the ruling. “No one is above the law — not even the President.”

“It’s our president’s duty to honor this ruling and I’ll make sure he does,” Ferguson added.

It was exactly a week ago that pandemonium broke out at airports across the country as the travel ban took effect. Today, according to NBC News, air service to the U.S is back to “normal.”

Qatar Airways issued a statement saying that, “as directed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” nationals of the seven affected countries and all refugees presenting a valid U.S. visa or Green Card allowing them to work in the U.S. would be permitted to travel to the United States.

Egyptair said the same thing.

“There is no stopping any passenger if they have a visa,” Egyptair’s manager for flights to New York, Hossam Hussein, told NBC by phone. He said people from any nation could travel to the U.S.

Lufthansa, too, said passengers previously blocked were now free to fly to the U.S.

The order appears to trump Trump, but the tweeter-in-chief has already weighed in:

The reference in the second tweet to “certain Middle Eastern countries” is obviously a reference to the United Arab Emirates, whose foreign minister told the press on Wednesday that the travel ban was not a Muslim ban and supported America’s sovereign right to ban whomever it chose.

This tug of war, which was inevitable, will now proceed to one of the thirteen appellate courts and, if need be, the ultimate judicial arbiter, the Supreme Court.

However it is resolved, it is high time that the president bring Congress back to enact laws, in accordance with the Constitution. We have had eight years of executive orders from the White House, some of which — like this one — were challenged by judges who legislate from the bench. President Trump needs to break out of this routine.

 *UPDATE* Some points of clarification in re Judge Robart from one of LU’s legal consultants:

Judge Robart was nominally a GW Bush appointee, but effectively he was picked by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Maria Cantwell (D. Wash.), who used their “blue slip” prerogative to block more conservative judges from being appointed. (Under Senatorial custom, Senators can block trial judges they don’t like from being appointed in their state. So Obama often picked moderate rather than liberal trial judges in states like Texas, and Bush sometimes picked liberal rather than conservative trial judges in states like Washington and California).

Under the logic of Robart’s decision, it looks like you couldn’t give an entirely reasonable preference to Bahais or Jews escaping Iran, or Yazidis or Christians escaping Syria or Iraq.

 *UPDATE 2* Via ABC News (h/t Weasel Zippers):

If the emergency stay on the restraining order is granted, the ban on immigration will remain in force until a higher court rules otherwise.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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