Striking a major blow to Donald Trump, a federal judge in Seattle brought his administration’s executive order on immigration to a halt nationwide Friday, issuing a temporary restraining order in US District Court until further hearings can be held.
US District Judge James Robart in Seattle on Friday ruled that the states had the standing to challenge Trump’s order, which government lawyers disputed, and said they showed their case was likely to succeed.
“The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury,” Robart said.
“The Constitution prevailed today,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said after the ruling. “No one is above the law — not even the president.”
“This ruling shuts down the (president’s) executive order immediately — shuts it down — so people can travel like they did before,” Ferguson said.
The challenge was brought by the state of Washington and later joined by the state of Minnesota.
Trump’s order last week sparked protests nationwide and confusion at airports as some travellers were detained. The White House has argued that it will make the country safer.
Washington became the first state to sue over the order that temporarily bans travel for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen and suspends the US refugee programme.
Earlier on Friday, a federal judge in Boston declined to extend a temporary restraining order that allowed some immigrants into the United States from countries affected by Trump’s three-month ban.
Also on Friday in Virginia, a federal judge ordered the White House to provide a list of all people stopped from entering the United States by the travel ban.
The State Department said on Friday that fewer than 60,000 visas previously issued to citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen had been invalidated as a result of the order. That disclosure followed media reports that government lawyers were citing a figure of 100,000.