Judge Who Blocked Trump's Immigration Order Was Praised for Representing Refugees

He was confirmed in a 99-0 vote.

ByABC News
February 4, 2017, 12:07 PM

— -- James Robart, the federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington who temporarily blocked President Trump's immigration order, was praised by a Republican senator in his confirmation hearing for how he represented refugees.

"He brings a wealth of trial experience to the Federal bench after trying in excess of 50 cases to verdict or judgment as sole or lead counsel, and he has been active in the representation of the disadvantaged through his work with Evergreen Legal Services and the independent representation of Southeast Asian refugees," Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said of Robart at his 2004 confirmation hearing.

Evergreen Legal Services, the business Hatch referred to, is listed among law offices that offer pro bono assistance to clients on LegalHandle.com, a website that catalogs attorneys who provide legal aid to low income people.

Robart, an appointment of then President George W. Bush, was ultimately approved by Congress with a unanimous vote of 99-0 in a bipartisan show of support.

Video of Robart's complete remarks in the case show him laying out a path for police-accountability reform before citing the rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"Mr. Robart's impressive credentials are reflected in his unanimous American Bar Association rating of Well Qualified," Hatch said of Robart at the hearing. "I am confident that he will be a fine addition to the bench and urge my colleagues to join me in supporting his confirmation."

Robart imposed a nationwide hold on Trump's ban on travelers and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, siding with two states that had challenged the controversial executive order.

"The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury," Robart said in his decision. "This TRO (temporary restraining order) is granted on a nationwide basis ..."

Robart, whose career is drawing greater scrutiny in the wake of Trump's comments referring to him as a "so-called Judge," is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, who started his career in private practice, according to his official biography.

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