A federal judge in Seattle on Friday ordered a temporary nationwide restraining order to halt President Trump's executive order that bans refugees and asylum seekers from seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled in favor of a lawsuit by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who is taking action on certain provisions in the week-old executive action. Robart's restraining order is granted on a national level and will take effect immediately, according to multiple reports.
The former George W. Bush-appointed judge's order will likely lead to a circuit split due to an opposite ruling by a Boston judge on Friday, forcing the matter to be decided by the Supreme Court.
Ferguson's 19-page complaint stated Trump's order violated aspects of religious freedom and equal protect, as outlined in the Constitution. Minnesota joined Washington's suit earlier this week. A handful of states have also announced separate legal action in response to Trump's banning non-U.S. citizens from Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Yemen.
More than 21,000 residents in Washington were born in one of the seven countries where refugees are no longer being accepted. Approximately 7,200 noncitizens in Washington are from the nations banned on the list.