Seattle judge temporarily blocks Trump’s travel ban.
Donald Trump has insulted and threatened to overturn the ruling of a “so-called” federal judge in Seattle who temporarily halted his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and the suspension of refugee admission.
In a series of tweets early in the morning after Friday’s ruling by the Seattle judge James Robart, the president wrote: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
Trump, who for the first time as president was spending the weekend away from the White House, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, wrote with characteristic typographical errors: “When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot , come in & out, especially for reasons of safety &.security – big trouble!”
Signed last week, the executive order suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and from Syria indefinitely, and placed time-limited holds on the admission of travellers from seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia – which are mostly Muslim.
The order also provided for preference to people from religious minorities in those countries, and Trump said in an interview he would give Christians priority as refugees.
Robart, who was appointed by George W Bush, granted a temporary restraining order after hearing arguments from Washington state and Minnesota that the president’s order unlawfully discriminated against Muslims and caused unreasonable harm.
The White House said it would appeal against the order, which it first called “outrageous” before issuing an “updated” statement which did not feature that word.
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In a statement, the press secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump administration believed the executive order was “lawful and appropriate”.
The order has caused logistical and political chaos, and the roles Trump’s senior aide Steve Bannon and policy chief Stephen Miller in its writing and rollout have been under intense scrutiny. Trump’s Republican party has backed the order, though some senior figures have opposed it or criticised its implementation.
The attorney general of Washington state, Bob Ferguson, told reporters outside the courtroom: “We are a nation of laws. Not even the president can violate the constitution. No one is above the law, not even the president.
“This decision shuts down the executive order immediately – shuts it down. That relief is immediate, happens right now. That’s the bottom line.”