Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Trump Muslim Ban

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June 26, 2018
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The U.S. Supreme Court today overturned an appellate court decision and ruled in favor of the Trump Administration’s ban on immigrants and refugees from seven countries – five of them predominantly Muslim – traveling to the United States.

The ban at issue in today’s ruling in Trump v. Hawai`i is the third effort by the administration to make good on President Trump’s pledge to ban travel to the United States from predominantly Muslim countries.

Lambda Legal joined a friend-of-the-court brief to the Court filed on behalf of the country’s leading civil rights organizations urging the Court to affirm the lower court ruling.

Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven issued the following statement:

This is a dark day for the United States, as shameful as the internment of Japanese-Americans and the doors slammed shut to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. President Trump’s Muslim ban has already done immense harm to thousands of people, some trying to flee violence, others cruelly separated from their families, and it’s heartbreaking that the Supreme Court did not put an end to this injustice.

This month the Court expressed deep concern about the slightest perceived animosity toward a Christian baker, but today is untroubled by the President of the United States singling out Muslims for unequal treatment. This is more than hypocritical; it threatens the foundation of bedrock American principles that government cannot show favor or disfavor to any religion. As a queer woman and a Jew, I am outraged and frightened.

The LGBT community knows what it’s like to be red meat for a demagogue’s base. Future generations will ask us what we did to object. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim family – straight and gay – and pledge our continued support to fight the ban and the stigma, discrimination, and violence it helps encourage.

The ban at issue in today’s ruling restricted travel from seven countries — Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea — five of which are predominantly Muslim. The restrictions vary in their details, but, for the most part, citizens of the countries are prohibited from immigrating to the United States, and many are barred from working, studying or visiting family here.

Hawaii, several individuals and a Muslim group challenged the ban’s limits on travel from the predominantly Muslim nations; not including North Korea and Venezuela. They prevailed before a federal District Court in Hawaii and before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that President Trump had exceeded the authority that Congress had given him over immigration and had violated a part of the immigration laws barring discrimination in the issuance of visas.

Lambda Legal joined an amicus brief along with 13 other civil rights organizations, including: NAACP; Advocates for Youth; Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice; Center for Reproductive Rights, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; Mississippi Center for Justice; National Center for Lesbian Rights; National Urban League; People for the American Way Foundation; Southern Coalition for Social Justice; Southern Poverty Law Center; and, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.