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Meet the rookie federal judge who halted Trump’s refugee deportations — to save a Syrian

Avi Selk writes, "Ann M. Donnelly waited half a year for her chance to convince the Senate that she would make a good federal judge. When the day finally came, she packed as many relatives as she could into the benches.

In her opening comments, she named every single one of them.

Donnelly introduced the senators to her husband, Michael. Her sister Sarah and brother Thomas. And then their spouses and their four children.

And to her mother and late father — 'I know he is watching,' she told the Judiciary Committee in the spring of 2015. And her two daughters, and their boyfriends.

And then Saturday night, after a year and a week on the federal bench, Donnelly sat in her own courtroom in Brooklyn while families shouted and cried in airports nationwide.

President Trump’s sudden ban on refugees and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries had interrupted reunions midflight, leaving aunts, nephews, fathers and daughters stranded on opposite sides of security cordons, while federal officials decided who would be deported by presidential decree.

That’s the night the daughter of Mary and Jack Donnelly — whose speeches and rulings had rarely traveled beyond courthouse walls — became known across the world as the first judge to block Trump’s order."


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