A federal judge in Seattle granted a temporary restraining order on President Donald Trump's executive order putting on hold the refugee program for Syria and a temporary travel ban for people from seven predominantly-Muslim nations.
The order issued by district judge James Robart on Friday puts on hold the temporary travel ban but the administration is expected to immediately appeal the decision to a higher court.
Robart gave his decision after hearing arguments from Washington State and Minnesota that Trump's executive order had "unlawfully discriminated against Muslims and caused unreasonable harm." A copy of the entire decision, however was not released and there's no categorical clarification yet when precisely would the travel restrictions be lifted.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, however, said that as far as he understands the ruling, it "shuts down the executive order immediately, shuts it down. The relief is immediate, happens right now. That's the bottom line."
Robart also denied a request from the justice department to stay his devision.
The Seattle judge ruling is not yet conclusive as it does not permanently overturn Trump's order nor does it rule on its longer-term orders to the Department of Homeland Security. The state attorney general insists that for now, however, the decision should lift the administration's indefinite ban on Syrian refugee admissions, the 120-day ban on the entire refugee program, and the 90-day travel ban for people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan.
The Trump administration has repeatedly explained and clarified that the President's executive order does not constitute a Muslim ban, and that the government is just keen on establishing extreme vetting measures for national security and to protect the American public from potential terrorists who may enter the country.
Ferguson is insisting that Trump's order is discriminatory against Muslims. He concedes, however, that the President enjoys broad powers to make national security and immigration decisions.