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Pence says judge ‘certainly’ has the right to stop Trump’s travel ban

Image source: Twitter/@ThisWeekABC

Vice President Mike Pence is taking a different approach from President Donald Trump to a Washington state judge's nationwide restraining order on the White House's temporary travel freeze.

Pence, in a pre-taped interview on ABC's "This Week" that aired Sunday, told host George Stephanopoulos that Judge James Robart "certainly" has the right to halt Trump's executive order. "That's why the administration is complying with that order as we speak," the vice president said.

Trump, however, took a less diplomatic route. In one of the president's signature tweet storms over the weekend, Trump called Robart's move a "terrible decision," claiming that many "very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country" as a result.

Pence defended Trump's brash criticism of the Washington judge, who was nominated in 2003 by former President George W. Bush and confirmed unanimously in a 99-0 vote by the Senate in 2004, saying the billionaire was just "speaking his mind."

Robart issued the nationwide restraining order on Friday, immediately freezing Trump's controversial immigration action, which instituted a 90-day freeze on entry into the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries and a 120-day halt of the refugee resettlement program.

The judge's order restrains the Trump administration from enforcing portions of Section 3, which applies to the seven-country travel freeze, and Section 5, which applies to the refugee resettlement moratorium, of Trump's executive action.

Section 3 calls for the suspension of "entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order." Section 5 places a 120-day freeze on the refugee resettlement program pending a review of the "application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States."

Robart's restraining order takes particular issue with Section 5, paragraph (e), which calls for the prioritization of refugees who are members of a minority religion.

Both the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have complied with Robart's order.

"And we'll go through the process in the courts to get a stay of that order, so that again, we can implement this action that is entirely focused on the safety and security of the American people," Pence said.

A federal appeals court on Sunday denied the Justice Department's request to restore Trump's travel freeze.

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