A federal judge on Friday put a temporary nationwide hold on President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on refugees and Muslim travellers.
Following the ruling and breaking news, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson told reporters, that in the fight to defend the U.S. Constitution there is no one who is above the law, not even the president.
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“In our country, no one is above the law and that includes the president,”Bob Ferguson, Washington state’s top law official, said on CNN Friday night.
US District Judge James Robart on Friday temporarily blocked Trump’s order that banned most travel to the US from seven majority-Muslim nations. Robart’s ruling came after Washington state and Minnesota urged a nationwide hold on the executive order that has launched legal battles nationwide.
Robart’s ruling is the most extensive action against Trump’s executive order since it was signed last week.
“Attorneys in my office were working around the clock for six days to make this happen,” Ferguson said on CNN. “I’m prepared for this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court.”
Ferguson said in preparing the motion, attorneys focused on elements of Trump’s executive order that appeared to violate the Constitution’s due-process protections or raise concerns about religious discrimination.
The Trump administration has used the threat of a terrorist attack in the US to justify banning travel to the US for 90 days by most people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The executive order also barred all refugees from entering the US for 120 days and indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the US.
Here’s part of what Robart’s ruling says about Trump’s executive order:
“While preventing terrorist attacks is an important goal, the order does nothing to further that purpose by denying admission to children fleeing Syria’s civil war, to refugees who valiantly assisted the US military in Iraq, or to law abiding tech workers who have lived in Washington for years.”
Amazon is among the Washington state-based companies that threw its support behind attorneys challenging Trump’s immigration order.
Washington Solicitor General Noah Purcell said Friday: “We only challenged the parts that are actually affecting people immediately, which are the parts about refugees and the parts about targeting these seven countries.”
US Customs and Border Protection told airlines it is “back to business as usual” and was reinstating visas following the Washington federal judge’s order, CNN reported.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to the ruling in a statement Friday night: “At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate.”
After the ruling, many questions remain. The judge’s order could be challenged in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It could potentially reach the US Supreme Court.
The Washington judge’s restraining order Friday came down the same day a judge in Massachusetts declined to extend a separate restraining order against Trump’s executive action. The restraining order in that state was due to expire on Sunday.
Earlier this week, another lawsuit filed in Virginia alleged dozens of immigrants trying to enter the US were coerced into giving up visas and green cards amid the travel ban. The State Department and Justice Department said tens of thousands of visas have been revoked as a result of the ban, though the two federal government agencies had diverging numbers.
Watch the Washington state attorney general’s remarks below:
WA state AG Bob Ferguson: “It will not surprise me or anyone else” if this ultimately ends up in the Supreme Court https://t.co/IR9FlqTLOn
— CNN (@CNN) 4 February 2017
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