【Written by: Kayser】
This weekend marks the debut of a much-anticipated battle between the Trump-led White House and the US Constitution.
And it started from a request from Bob Ferguson, the Attorney General from Washington State, to halt the execution of Trump's "Executive Order" on immigration. And he proposed this to be implemented nationwide.
Last Friday (January 27) Trump abruptly announced his "executive order" on immigration -- suspending entry of people from the 7 Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) for 90 days, suspending refugees from US Refugee Admission Program for 120 days, and banning Syrian refugees from entering the US indefinitely.
Immediately chaos and confusion broke out in airports domestically and around the world – countless travelers including valid visa and green card holders from these 7 countries were stopped from boarding the planes or detained in the US airports upon arrival.
It then rippled quickly to widespread outrage around the country, leading to protests everywhere against this sudden launch of the executive order.
The first to respond was the federal judge from Brooklyn, NY, who ordered a temporary halt to the implementation of this executive order, allowing the release of the detained travelers who landed already, until the court hearing is completed.
In response to this defiant action, the Department of Homeland Security responded that they would continue to implement the executive order.
Then came Chicago's refusal to implement the executive order, releasing the detained people in the airport.
On Saturday night (the day after the executive order), Virginia announced they would provide legal assistance to the detainees.
Then followed by Seattle who refused to send two affected travelers back to their departing places…..
To continue the whirlwind development, on Monday (3rd day into this executive order), Acting Attorney General Sally Yates announced the executive order to be unconstitutional and asked the lawyers in the Department of Justice to not defend for it.
As we recall, she was instantly fired by Trump, replaced temporarily by Dana Boente, until Jeff Sessions completed his confirmation by the Senate before taking the post.
Meanwhile, the Silicon Valley spoke. Executives from Google, Apple, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Microsoft, Dropbox, Intel, Tesla, Salesforce, Foursquare…… and even Amazon, once Trump supporter, all announced their disagreement with and refusal to support Trump’s abrupt executive order on the immigration travel ban.
Yesterday (February 3), Bob Ferguson, Attorney General of Washington State, in conjunction with Minnesota, declared Trump's executive order unconstitutional, and requested to immediately halt its implementation nationwide.
James Robart, US District Court Senior Judge, granted Ferguson's request with a temporary restraining order until he considers Ferguson's case against Trump’s executive order provisions to be proved illegal upon final court hearing.
Here is the original script of Judge Robart's order.
The US Customs and Border Protection's communication with airlines on the lifting of the ban ensued; and visa processing was resumed to prior-ban mode.
The White House called Judge Robart's temporary restraining order "outrageous", 7 minutes before they changed to a milder tone – that they believed the president’s executive order to be "lawful and appropriate".
Note that Robart was appointed by the former Republican president, George W Bush, and his decision upon stopping the ban was solely based on Bob Ferguson's request that the president's executive order was unconstitutional. Ferguson also claimed he has sufficient evidence for the case, and is prepared for Supreme Court hearing if that's the needed result.
While writing this, the Department of Homeland Security JUST announced that it would completely halt the executive order!
It's interesting to see how the White House's defense for the executive order in court unfolds. Such legal argument will certainly be more entertaining than reality TV, except Trump will no longer determine who will get fired!