Who is the judge who stopped Trump’s travel ban?
James Robart is a federal judge in Washington state, who most recently ruled against the Trump executive order that blocked visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from the US for 90 days, halted the entire refugee program for 120 days, and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Robart in Seattle ruled that the states of Minnesota and Washington had standing to challenge Trump’s order and said the states showed their case was likely to succeed.
Robart, in his written ruling, wrote that the executive order “adversely affects’’ residents across the two states and the state’s public universities. “These harms are significant and ongoing,’’ the ruling said.
“This (order) is granted on a nationwide basis’’ the ruling said, and prohibited enforcement of the president’s executive order “at all United States borders and ports of entry pending further orders from this court.”
Trump responded about the ruling, mocking Robarts personally as a “so-called judge”:
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
Here’s a little bit about Robart’s background:
He was nominated for a federal judgeship by George W. Bush in 2003 and confirmed by the Senate 99-0 in 2004. At that time, both Senator Ted Kennedy of Mass. and Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont sat on the Committee on the Judiciary.
During his confirmation hearing, Sen Orrin Hatch of Utah, the then-Chairman of the committee, said this to Robarts, and judges Juan Sanchez and Diane Sykes, who were also up for confirmation:
“And then, you know, the Presidents sometimes put up legislation or put up suggestions or act in executive ways that sometimes are unconstitutional. So it is important to have an honest, decent judiciary to correct those ills. And I am counting on all three of you to be humble, good, honorable, intelligent judges who will help us to have the best, continue to maintain the best judiciary in the history of the world.”
Robarts garnered some national attention in a ruling last year. In a case by the Obama administration against the Seattle police force for using excessive force, Robart said “black lives matter.”
“According to FBI statistics, police shootings resulting in deaths involve 41 percent black people despite being only 20 percent of the population living in those cities. Forty-one percent of the casualties, 20 percent of the population — black lives matter.”