The federal judge in Seattle who halted President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration ruled Monday that the original lawsuit challenging the order can go ahead while an appeals court sorts through a thicket of issues.
U.S. District Judge James Robart — who issued the temporary restraining order at the request of Washington state and Minnesota on Feb. 4 — rejected the U.S. Justice Department's request to pause the underlying case in lower court while the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether a larger, 11-judge panel will review the case.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court last week refused to toss out the injunction and reinstate the travel order, contesting the Trump administration's claim of presidential authority.
Separately on Monday, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema granted a preliminary injunction barring implementation of the president's order against anyone who lives, works or attends school in Virginia.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, which sought the injunction, is "likely to suffer irreparable harm" if the executive order is enforced, Brinkema ruled in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.
Trump's executive order restricted entrance into the United States for 90 days by nationals of Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The administration hasn't filed any appeal of the appeals court ruling — in fact, Trump said Friday that he could issue a new order to get around the courts' objections.
After last week's ruling by the appeals court, Trump tweeted: "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"
Monday, the Washington attorney general's office responded in kind: