NAPABA Applauds Fourth Circuit Decision Upholding Block on Revised Muslim Ban
For Immediate Release
May 25, 2017
For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
[email protected], 202-775-9555
WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s 10-3 en banc ruling maintaining a lower court’s block on President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
In March 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the District of Maryland issued a preliminary injunction on the travel restrictions in this lawsuit, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, which was brought by individuals — including U.S. citizens — and organizations impacted by the executive order. Today’s 10-3 Fourth Circuit opinion, written by Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, affirmed the plaintiffs’ right to challenge the executive order and upheld their claims under the Establishment Clause.
On March 19, NAPABA filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, supported by 43 NAPABA affiliates, describing the history of the statutory exclusion of Asians and Pacific Islanders under early U.S. immigration law — including the first federal law to ban a group of people from entering the country on the basis of race — prior to the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which outlawed nationality-based discrimination. NAPABA argued that President Trump’s revised order, with its anti-Muslim underpinnings, violates this unambiguous prohibition on discrimination established by Congress.
The court agreed with the plaintiffs’ assertion that religious animus motivated the revised order. The court found the government’s asserted national security interest to be a “secondary justification,” noting strongly that order “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance.”
NAPABA awaits the pending ruling in the parallel Ninth Circuit case, State of Hawaii v. Trump, and will continue to work to ensure the executive order is permanently struck down by the courts.
For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at202-775-9555 or [email protected].