Refugees welcome: Protesters against Trump's Muslim ban
Refugees welcome: Protesters against Trump's Muslim ban (Photo: Geoff Livingston)

Hand­ing Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son a pre­lim­i­nary vic­to­ry in his efforts to stop neo­fas­cist Don­ald Trump from stomp­ing all over the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion and fed­er­al law, U.S. Fed­er­al Dis­trict Court Judge Judge James L. Robart today grant­ed the State of Wash­ing­ton’s request for a tem­po­rary restrain­ing order block­ing imple­men­ta­tion of key pro­vi­sions of Trump’s exec­u­tive order on immi­gra­tion, includ­ing those sec­tions that ban immi­gra­tion from cer­tain countries.

Robart’s deci­sion will affect the entire coun­try, not just the Pacif­ic North­west or the States of Wash­ing­ton and Min­neso­ta (Min­neso­ta joined the suit yesterday).

“The Con­sti­tu­tion pre­vailed today,” Fer­gu­son said in a state­ment hail­ing the deci­sion. “No one is above the law — not even the President.”

The news release went on to say:

The Tem­po­rary Restrain­ing Order will remain in place until U.S. Dis­trict Court Senior Judge James L. Robart con­sid­ers the Attor­ney General’s law­suit chal­leng­ing key pro­vi­sions of the President’s order as ille­gal and uncon­sti­tu­tion­al. If Fer­gu­son pre­vails, the Exec­u­tive Order would be per­ma­nent­ly inval­i­dat­ed nationwide.

To obtain the Tem­po­rary Restrain­ing Order, the state need­ed to prove that its under­ly­ing law­suit was like­ly to suc­ceed, that irrepara­ble harm was like­ly to occur with­out the restrain­ing order, and that halt­ing the President’s order imme­di­ate­ly is in the pub­lic interest.

The State also need­ed to estab­lish that the poten­tial injury to Wash­ing­ton res­i­dents caused by leav­ing the President’s order in place out­weighs any poten­tial dam­age from halt­ing it.

Judge Robart, who was nom­i­nat­ed to the court by Pres­i­dent George W. Bush in 2003, ruled that Fer­gu­son had met the high stan­dards nec­es­sary to block the Exec­u­tive Order until the court reach­es the mer­its of the lawsuit.

“This is a tremen­dous vic­to­ry for the State of Wash­ing­ton,” said Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee in a sep­a­rate state­ment. “Thank you to AG Fer­gu­son and his team for mak­ing the case that no per­son – not even the pres­i­dent – is above the law.”

“There is still more to do,” the Gov­er­nor added. “The fight isn’t yet won. But we should feel heart­ened by today’s vic­to­ry and more res­olute than ever that we are fight­ing on the right side of history.”

NPI con­grat­u­lates Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son on today’s vic­to­ry and wish­es his office suc­cess in obtain­ing a per­ma­nent injunction.

Today’s vic­to­ry is a reminder that abus­es of pow­er can be stopped. Amer­i­ca is a coun­try of laws. Our Founders gave us a sys­tem of gov­ern­ment with checks and bal­ances. It is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the judi­cial branch to inter­pret the law and ensure the exec­u­tive branch does not over­step its authority.

Today, Judge Robart upheld his oath to defend the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States against all ene­mies, for­eign and domestic.

We thank him for grant­i­ng the tem­po­rary restrain­ing order and urge him to grant Fer­gu­son’s prayer for relief in the under­ly­ing lawsuit.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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