Who Is Michelle Friedland? Donald Trump's Executive Order Is In Her Judicial Hands

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After watching Sen. Elizabeth Warren be silenced on the floor of the Senate, it can sometimes feel like women are having their voices taken away. However, it times of frustration, it's worth realizing that there are plenty of women in power who are making strong statements. Case in point look towards Michelle Friedland, one of the federal judges who will help determine the fate of President Donald Trump's controversial executive order on travel and refugees.

A little over a week ago, Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 that would target travelers from seven pre-determined, Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It also included a provision that blocked refugees from Syria from entering the United States indefinitely. Last Friday, Judge James Robart, a federal judge for the Western District of Washington state, ordered a temporary halt to the enforcement of Trump's travel ban. Then, over the weekend, the Trump administration issued an emergency request to reverse Robart's stay. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied the request — Friedland and her colleague, Judge William Canby Jr., were behind the decision.

Now, a three-judge panel comprised of Friedland, Canby, and Judge Richard Clifton is charged with deciding how to move forward and if Robart's decision will make it in the long run.

It won't be easy: Trump has been lashing out at anyone who doesn't agree with him, even taking shots at Robart (without explicitly naming him).

At just 44-years-old, Friedland is the youngest appeals court judge in the U.S. President Obama nominated her in 2013. Until then, she had been a partner at the firm Munger, Tolles & Olson in San Francisco. One of Friedland's first jobs was as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. When O'Connor announced her retirement, Friedland was quick to support her and sing her praises:

Friedland would do her old boss proud. One of her best moments during Tuesday's hearing came when she asked August Flentje, the attorney representing the federal government:

Friedland and her fellow judges may issue a decision as early as this week.