In widest-reaching decision yet, federal judge grants temporary block on Muslim travel ban

Source: Kathy Willens/AP

A U.S. District Court judge in Seattle has granted a temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump's executive order blocking refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. 

The Guardian reported that the block, which is effective nationwide, was issued by Seattle-based U.S. District Judge James Robart, who was acting in response to lawsuits brought by Washington state and Minnesota. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the lawsuit Monday, calling Trump's order "illegal."

"The president's executive order ... is separating Washington families, harming thousands of Washington residents, damaging Washington's economy, hurting Washington-based companies, and undermining Washington's sovereign interest in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees," the lawsuit read.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson joined the Washington suit on Wednesday. According the Star Tribune, Minnesota ranks among the states accepting largest number of Syrian refugees over the past year, and also boasts a large population of refugees from Somalia. Both countries are among those affected by the executive order.

It's not immediately clear what kind of impact the block will have, but, speaking to NBC News, a Department of Homeland Security official downplayed the effect of the restraining order, which will remain in effect until Robart hears the challenge issued by the attorney general. 

Either way, the states appear poised for a fight. 

"No one is above the law — not even the president," Ferguson said upon announcing the lawsuit on Monday. "And in the courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails. It’s the Constitution."

On Saturday morning, Trump took to Twitter to slam the judge who blocked the ban and to threaten to overturn the judiciary block. 

"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump tweeted.

Feb. 4, 2017, 9:17 a.m.: This story has been updated.