Drafted by a small circle of aides, who kept the contents secret from lawmakers and most government officials, the contentious ban has drawn legal scrutiny since it went into effect last weekend. At the Justice Department, the acting attorney general was fired from her post on Monday night after telling agency lawyers not to defend the measure. Trump replaced her with a US attorney who vowed to enforce the ban.
But with the judge’s ruling on Friday evening, even Trump’s own appointees will be forced to follow the court’s order. Less than three hours after the decision was handed down, Customs and Border Protection officials told representatives from major air carriers they could allow previously banned passengers to board flights bound for the US.
The Department of Homeland Security, headed by Trump pick John Kelly, said it is suspending implementation of the order, even as it insisted the ban was “lawful and appropriate.”
And the State Department, run by Trump appointee Rex Tillerson, said it is revalidating visas it revoked only days ago.
“We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas under Executive Order 13769,” an agency official said. “Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.”
The order and its subsequent reversal have led to rapid-fire changes in US policy, leading some to view a government in disarray.