'No one is above the law and that includes that president': Washington state AG explains temporary hold on Trump's immigration ban

Bob Ferguson Washington State Attorney GeneralScreenshot via CNNWashington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (right) speaks on CNN about a federal judge’s ruling that placed a temporary hold on President Donald Trump’s immigration order.

Washington’s state attorney general had a warning for President Donald Trump after a federal judge put a temporary nationwide hold on Trump’s immigration order.

“In our country, no one is above the law and that includes the president,” Bob Ferguson, Washington state’s top law official, said on CNN Friday night.

US District Judge James Robart on Friday temporarily blocked Trump’s order that banned most travel to the US from seven majority-Muslim nations. Robart’s ruling came after Washington state and Minnesota urged a nationwide hold on the executive order that has launched legal battles nationwide.

Robart’s ruling is the most extensive action against Trump’s executive order since it was signed last week.

“Attorneys in my office were working around the clock for six days to make this happen,” Ferguson said on CNN. “I’m prepared for this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Ferguson said in preparing the motion, attorneys focused on elements of Trump’s executive order that appeared to violate the Constitution’s due-process protections or raise concerns about religious discrimination.

The Trump administration has used the threat of a terrorist attack in the US to justify banning travel to the US for 90 days by most people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The executive order also barred all refugees from entering the US for 120 days and indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the US.

Here’s part of what Robart’s ruling says about Trump’s executive order:

“While preventing terrorist attacks is an important goal, the order does nothing to further that purpose by denying admission to children fleeing Syria’s civil war, to refugees who valiantly assisted the US military in Iraq, or to law abiding tech workers who have lived in Washington for years.”

Immigration ban protestsSpencer Platt/Getty ImagesEthnic Yemenis and supporters protest against President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen on February 2, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

“We only challenged the parts that are actually affecting people immediately, which are the parts about refugees and the parts about targeting these seven countries,” Washington Solicitor General Noah Purcell said Friday.

After the ruling, many questions remain. The judge’s order could be challenged in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It could potentially reach the US Supreme Court.

The Washington judge’s restraining order Friday came down the same day a judge in Massachusetts declined to extend a separate restraining order against Trump’s executive action. The restraining order in that state was due to expire on Sunday.

Earlier this week, another lawsuit filed in Virginia alleged dozens of immigrants trying to enter the US were coerced into giving up visas and green cards amid the travel ban. The State Department and Justice Department said tens of thousands of visas have been revoked as a result of the ban, though the two federal government agencies had diverging numbers.

Trump’s executive order has been widely criticised from Silicon Valley to the auto industry, major banks, the nation’s top universities, leading GOP senators, and beyond.

Watch the Washington state attorney general’s remarks below:

WA state AG Bob Ferguson: “It will not surprise me or anyone else” if this ultimately ends up in the Supreme Court https://t.co/IR9FlqTLOn
— CNN (@CNN) February 4, 2017

NOW WATCH: Here’s how powerful an executive order is and how it could be reversed

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