As multiple news outlets have reported over the past several hours, United States District Court Judge James Robart of the Western District of Washington has issued a Temporary Restraining Order against President Trump’s unconstitutional travel ban. This is from the New York Times:
A federal judge in Seattle on Friday temporarily blocked President Trump’s week-old immigration order from being enforced nationwide, reopening America’s door to visa holders from seven predominantly Muslim countries and dealing the administration a humbling defeat.
The White House vowed late Friday to fight what it called an “outrageous” ruling, saying it would seek an emergency halt to the judge’s order as soon as possible and restore the president’s “lawful and appropriate order.”
“The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people,” the White House said. A revised statement released later omitted the word “outrageous.”
And early Saturday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted in defense of his stand.
Courts around the country have halted aspects of Mr. Trump’s temporary ban on travel from the seven countries, but the Seattle ruling was the most far-reaching to date.
It’s important to note that Judge Robart’s order is only a temporary restraining order (something less than an injunction, or even preliminary injunction) which basically just freezes things temporarily to halt immediate and irreparable injury and allow the parties to thoroughly consider and brief the issues. Though by issuing the order, it should be noted, Robart found that the complaint against the Trump administration was likely to prevail on the merits once fully briefed and argued.
Here is what Robart actually said in his order:
“Federal defendants and all their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys and persons acting in concert or participation with them are hereby enjoined and restrained from: a) enforcing Section 3(c) of the executive order, b) enjoined and restrained from enforcing Section 5(a) of the executive order, enjoined and restrained from enforcing Section 5(b) of the executive order, or proceeding with any action that prioritizes the refugee claims of certain religious minorities, enjoined and restrained from enforcing Section 5(c) of the executive order, and lastly, enjoined and restrained from enforcing Section 5(e) of the executive order to the extent Section 5(e) purports to prioritize refugee claims of certain religious minorities. This TRO is granted on a nationwide basis and prohibits enforcement of Sections 3(c), 5(a), 5(b), 5(c) and 5(e) of the executive order at all United States borders and points of entry pending further orders from this court. “
You can watch the full video of the hearing in front of Judge Robart by clicking here and listen to his orally-issued order and explanation by going to around the 55 minute mark in the video. Robart has been a federal judge since 2004 after having been appointed by George W. Bush in 2003.