U.S. District Court Judge James Robart put a nationwide halt to President Trump’s executive action on immigration Friday. From the Seattle Times:
U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled in favor Friday of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who sued to invalidate key provisions of Trump’s executive order. That order indefinitely blocks entry to the United States for Syrian refugees and temporarily suspends entry to citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.
The temporary restraining order is granted on a nationwide basis, Robart said…
In his oral ruling, Robart said Washington had standing to bring the case forward and provided evidence that Trump’s order has immediate harm. And the lawsuit, the judge said, has substantial likelihood of success in its underlying challenge to the constitutionality of the order.
So this temporary halt to Trump’s executive order will be in place until the judge makes a final ruling. However, even if that happens it’s not the end of the story. Politico notes this setback came just a few hours after the Trump administration prevailed in another lawsuit against the executive order:
The defeat for the Trump White House came just hours after Justice Department lawyers scored their first notable victory in the legal war over the executive order, persuading a judge in Boston to allow the expiration of a restraining order against the travel ban…
[U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel] Gorton ruled that Trump’s “order provides a reasonably conceivable state of facts [which concerns national security and] that could provide a rational basis for the classification,” the judge wrote. “Accordingly, this Court declines to encroach upon the ‘delicate policy judgment’ inherent in immigration decisions.”
The judge also appeared dismissive of arguments that the order—focused on citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries—amounts to invidious religious discrimination.
So this will undoubtedly be appealed at some point and could work its way up the chain to the Supreme Court. Fortunately for Trump, that could soon be a 5-4 proposition instead of a 4-4 tie.