Washington State A/G Bob Ferguson and a complicit federal judge, James Robart, brought about a national halt over the weekend to President Trump's border security executive order intended to protect Americans from migrants intent on killing us.
The Seattle Times calls it "a stunning rebuke" to President Trump---quoting Ferguson, "No one is above the law" (referring to the president)---and Gov. Inslee, not wanting to be left behind, proclaimed, "It is a tremendous victory."
Do the far Left progressives who have seized power in WA State believe they are "above the law?" Or are they, as Susan Hutchison believes, simply politically motivated?
Does Seattle Mayor Murray's commitment to "sanctuary city" break any laws? If so, does Ferguson believe he is "above" the law?
Why can a US district judge in Seattle make such a ruling that impacts the entire country?
This story, which began Friday, is continuing to develop. It has enormous implications for the Trump administration agenda and for the safety of our country. Here's a quick look at what happened over the weekend.
Federal Judge James L. Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, ordered a national halt to enforcement of President Trump's travel ban on people from 7 predominately Muslim countries.
This is the text of President Trump's executive order.
A/G Bob Ferguson said Friday afternoon, "The Constitution has prevailed today. No one is above the law---not even the president."
Governor Inslee tweeted that Robart's ruling was "a tremendous victory" for Washington State and "We should feel heartened by today's victory and more resolute than ever that we are fighting on the right side of history."
Friday evening Judge Robart published a written copy of his ruling.
In it he said, "The executive order adversely affects the state's residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel."
He also wrote that the president's order harmed the state's public universities and tax base--"These harms are significant and ongoing," he said.
The Seattle Times says there are "more than 21,000 Washington residents who were born in one of the seven countries named in the temporary travel ban.
Ferguson's lawsuit claims there are "7,279 noncitizen immigrants in the state from those seven countries."
Not everyone believes Ferguson, Robart, and Inslee are on the "right side of history."
The Boston Herald reports that the "Seattle court order came shortly after a federal judge in Boston refused to extend a 7 day stay on the immigration ban, saying a suit challenging the constitutionality of the order [Trump's order] is unlikely to succeed."
The Herald reports that Judge Nathaniel Gorton wrote that the president's order "provides a reasonably conceivable state of facts (which concern national security and) that could provide a rational basis for the classification."
"Accordingly," the judge wrote, "this court declines to encroach upon the 'delicate policy judgment' inherent in immigration decisions."
The Boston Herald said lawyers for the Trump administration says that Washington State lacks standing to bring the challenge and that the president has exercised his broad border security powers to protect Americans."
"Every president over the last 30 years has invoked this authority to suspend or impose restrictions on the entry of certain aliens, in some instances including classifications based on nationality," the president's lawyers told the press.
Personally, I found it stunning that part of Ferguson's19-page complaint included the argument that President Trump's executive order violates "constitutional guarantees of religious freedom."
You are aware that A/G Bob Ferguson has been at war against Richland florist Barronell Stutzman for the past couple of years because she declined to participate in a homosexual "marriage" ceremony. Although the homosexuals had been customers and considered themselves friends to Barronell, and Barronell's declining to participate in their "wedding" was "kind and respectful"---explaining she couldn't do it because of her deeply held religious beliefs, it matters not to Ferguson.
He apparently believes he is on the right side of history in his assault on religious freedom in regard to Christian beliefs, but is apparently, deeply concerned about those of the Muslim faith.
Saturday morning President Trump tweeted that Robart's ruling "puts into question law enforcement in the US."
Ferguson and others continued in their attempt to make Trump's order a "ban on Muslims," a phrase local news media repeats endlessly in every newscast and newspaper article. This is an echo of Barack Obama's narrative the past 8 years.
But Joshua Press, a Justice department attorney, repeatedly tells the news media that there is nothing in the executive order that targets Muslims. It targets the countries from which our greatest terrorist threats come.
He says of the media, "They are essentially reading this as a Muslim ban because that's what they want to see, but there's nothing in there."
I watched Mr. Ferguson interact with the press several times over the weekend. Frankly, I was reminded of the scene in the movie "Titanic" where the kid stands in the bow of the Titanic shouting, "I'm the king of the world."
The celebratory tone of Ferguson and Inslee is at best disappointing and concerning.
Susan Hutchison, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, accused Ferguson of "filing the lawsuit solely as a political ploy, to further a possible run for governor."
She said, "I think he knows that he's got very thin ice he's standing on legally."
The Wall Street Journal weighed in on Saturday explaining how a Seattle judge can impact the nation: "As a US district judge in Seattle, Judge James L. Robart typically handles federal cases affecting businesses and individuals in the western half of Washington state, an area roughly bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Cascade Range in the east."
"But Friday," the WSJ said, "Judge Robart expanded his reach..."
The Journal says the controversial ruling added another layer of uncertainty to a fluid and complicated situation.
The Journal also says, "Federal Judges don't often issue nationwide orders, but they have the power to do so."
They explain, "The power derives from the idea that in presiding over a dispute, a judge generally has the authority to bind the parties from acting in a way deemed to violate the law."
On Saturday afternoon, the US Department of Justice filed for an emergency stay of Judge Robart's ruling. They filed the request for a stay with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has jurisdiction of the west, including Washington.
Many legal scholars are criticizing Robart's ruling saying it's illegal, since the plaintiffs---Washington and Minnesota----filed a suit that "throws the kitchen sink" at the federal government, claiming 10 separate violations of the Constitution and federal law that Trump allegedly violates. The sweeping court order is also being criticized for blocking "all" implementation of the immigration measure nationwide, instead of exempting Washington, and Minnesota who has now joined Washington in the complaint.
However, the 9th Circuit Court is known to be very Left leaning and often activist.
In the early morning hours of Sunday (yesterday), we began hearing, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the request for an immediate administrative stay.
Yesterday, the press repeatedly reported---and social media obsessively affirmed--- that the court denied the request.
However, the truth is that the two-judge administrative panel of the San Francisco-based appeals court ruled that the court would "not" decide on the motion for an emergency stay "until it had received all legal briefs presenting the arguments of both sides."
It further ordered that Washington and Minnesota must file their brief by 3 PM ET, Sunday, then the Justice Department must file its reply by 6 PM ET (3 PM PT) Monday (today).
The court will then rule on the motion at any time after today's filing.
Personally, I don't expect the 9th court to uphold President Trump's order, but we will see.
Both appeals judges are Democrat appointees. Judge William B Canby was appointed by President Carter and is semi-retired. Judge Michelle Friedland was appointed by President Obama. The Ninth Circuit is one of the most liberal courts in the nation.
It's very likely that the Justice Department will take this directly to Supreme Court Justice Kennedy for a ruling.
Susan Hutchinson may well be right about Ferguson's motives. Only God knows the heart.
However, it is clear that Ferguson is, to borrow Gov. Inslee's term, "resolute," in litigating against Christians who live out their faith in the public square---and against the attempt to vet Muslims who flow across our borders from countries that have declared their intention to kill and destroy us.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.