HE was the federal judge who temporarily blocked US President Donald Trump’s infamous immigration order.
Here’s everything you need to know about James Robart who halted the so-called ‘Muslim travel ban’ back in February and where the US Supreme Court stands on the legal order.
Who is James Robart?
The Seattle judge was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate in 2004 after being nominated by then President George W.Bush.
Before this appointment Robart, 69, had spent 30 years in a private firm known as Lane Powell.
He graduated from Whitman College in Washington, and Georgetown University Law Center.
Douglas Adkins, a former investment banker who has known Robart since childhood, denied the decision to lift the travel ban was for political reasons.
Adkins said: “He is relatively apolitical. He’s not a conservative or a liberal. He’s a man interested in the law and fairness.”
Adkins said Robart and his wife have no children but have been foster parents to several immigrant children over the years, primarily from Southeast Asia.
The judge has served as the president of the Seattle Children’s Home and was a former trustee of the Children’s Home Society of Washington, which provide mental health services for at-risk youth and help troubled families.
Paul Lawrence, an attorneys who backed Washington State in the immigration case, said: “His involvement with children may have helped contribute to his understanding of the people impacted by this ruling but would not have shaped his interpretation of the rule of law.”
He has represented Asian refugees during his career.
How did Judge Robart block the order?
Robart’s temporary restraining order to block the travel ban nationwide.
This was to allow Washington and Minnoesta to mount a legal challenge against the ban, which they argue is unconstitutional and denied people with valid entry documents the right to travel.
Robart’s ruling included suspending the seven-country travel ban, the temporary refugee admissions ban and the ban on Syrian refugees.
In its appeal the Justice Department said that only the US President can decide who enters the country.
The US President can now enforce his 90-day ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries.
The Supreme Court has agreed to an emergency measure which will stop anyone from those countries who cannot prove “a bona fide relationship” with anyone already in the US.
But the judgement until the court hears the case in October stopped short of banning all arrivals.
Has Judge Robart made headlines before?
Judge Robart is well known for saying from the bench in 2016 that “black lives matter.”
He cited the statement popularised by protesters during a hearing in 2012 investigation allegations of bias and excessive force involving Seattle cops.
In a video posted on the federal court’s website and citing FBI statistics, Robart said “Police shootings resulting in deaths involved 41% black people, despite being only 20% of the population living in those cities.
“Forty-one percent of the casualties, 20% people of the population — black lives matter.”
In 2011, Robart put a temporary hold on a state rule change that would have cut government funding for disabled children and families in Washington.
“When faced with a conflict between the financial and budgetary concerns … and the preventable human suffering,” Robart wrote in that opinion, “the balance of hardships tips in the favour of preventing human suffering.”