Jan 27, 2017 - 4:43 pm ET — President Trump signs an executive order restricting immigration with the intent of preventing foreign terrorists from entering the United States from “Countries of Particular Concern.” Less reported, it calls for an assessment of what security reforms are necessary to ensure visas are only issued to those who pose no threat to the USA and its citizens, and that customs can verify are the persons their identification indicates and to develop a uniform screening process across various investigative agencies. Though not explicitly named in the order, the populations of seven Muslim-majority foreign nations were directly affected by this order, constituting about 15% of the world's Muslim population: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lybia, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia — full text — alt source
Sat, Jan 28, 2017 — Federal District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Virginia issued a temporary restraining order requiring the federal government to “permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport” and forbade U.S. officials from removing the lawsuit’s plaintiffs “for a period of 7 days from the issuance of this order.” — more info A lawyer in this case claimed that “more than 100,000 visas had been revoked” as a consequence of Trump’s order, but State Department official William Cocks has since indicated that the true figure was “fewer than 60,000.” source
A lawsuit filed by the ACLU in a Brooklyn, NY federal court on behalf of two men seeking not to be deported back to Iraq by Trump’s immigration order culminates in federal District Judge Ann Donnelly ordering a partial stay, protecting detainees who “had valid visas or refugee applications already approved, or legally entered the U.S.” prior to the executive order. full text — more info
It is reported on this day that 375 travelers were known to be affected so far; 109 denied entry after exiting planes at US airports, and 173 unable to board planes headed to the USA. source
Sun, Jan 29, 2017 — Two Boston judges, Federal judge Allison Burroughs () and federal magistrate judge Judith Dein, together issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of Trump’s immigration order for a period of 7 days, affecting the same groups of people as the Brooklyn/Donnelly court order. full text
Mon, Jan 30, 2017 — Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a hold-over from the Obama Administration because Trump has not nominated an Attorney General yet, orders the Justice Department not to defend Trump’s immigration order in the courts on the basis that “I am not convinced that the Executive Order is lawful.” Trump fires her hours later, with Dana J. Boente as the new Acting Attorney General. more info
This evening, Delta Airlines has some major computer system problems, which grounds 150 of their domestic flights and complicates the situation. more info
Fri, Feb 3, 2017 — Judge James Robart of Seattle issued a court order against Trump’s immigration order, and the most sweeping one, which effectively ends all blocks of entry into the country under the authority of Trump’s immigration order. This is the court order that Trump decides to appeal. full text — more info
Tue, Feb 7, 2017 — Trump’s appeal of a national court order is heard by a panel of three judges of the 9th Curcuit Court of Appeals, two Barack Obama appointees and one George W. Bush appointee. It takes about 70 minutes, and audio is broadcast live to a broad listening audience. transcript w/audio — [Side note: No, 9th Circuit isn't 'most overturned court in the country']
Wed, Feb 8, 2017 — Jeff Sessions is confirmed as US Attorney General on a party line vote of 52–47 (and Sessions himself voting “present”). Only Joe Manchin (D-WV) crosses party lines. more info
Thur, Feb 9, 2017 — The three judge panel issues a unanimous decision to uphold the court order that restored entry to the USA for visa-holders from the seven affected nations. full text — alt source — more info
Mon, Feb 13, 2017 — President Trump, after previously declining to appeal the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling to the Supreme Court and loudly considering issuing a new court order, floats the idea of appealing to an 11-judge panel of 9th Circuit Court judges. more info
Thus far, ten separate judges have ruled six separate times against Trump’s immigration order, each declaring its enforcement to be of a sufficiently dubious legality that its enforcement must be suspended while court hearings continue. Interestingly but perhaps not significantly, six of those judges were female; that is out of proportion with the sex divide among federal judges generally.
There are a variety of related topics I intend to wrote about soon: short biographies of the nine judges and their careers, legal analysis of the order itself and the court orders affecting it, major politicians' reactions to the order and its struggles, immigration orders from past Presidents that may establish relevant precedents, other executive orders by the current President, the nomination and confirmation of the Trump cabinet, and congressional interests while this has been happening. If any of these topics seems more important or interesting to you than the others, please comment. I'm open to changing my prioritities to fit public interest.