Can U.S. make staff work without pay? Judge could force its hand

A temporary restraining order, with its threat of court-ordered sanctions, would increase the pressure on President Donald Trump to find common ground with Congress. Half or more of Americans blame the president and his party for the impasse, according to six public opinion polls taken since the shutdown began, while only a third or fewer blame Democrats, who have already approved funding resolutions.

The failure to secure a TRO, meaning no immediate relief for federal workers caught in the middle of the historic struggle, may render the trio of lawsuits moot. A TRO is typically good for 14 days, perhaps longer than the crisis will endure. That’s what the plaintiffs say they need — help right now.