September 18, 2017

ABA urges U.S. Supreme Court to reject Trump administration’s revised travel ban

CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2017 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Monday, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold decisions by two federal appellate courts that rejected enforcement of the revised presidential executive order imposing a travel ban on persons from six overwhelming Muslim countries.

The ABA brief argues that the revised executive order signed by President Donald J. Trump on March 6 violates the prohibition on national origin discrimination in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and that the government’s arguments are inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s rulings in modern cases. The ABA brief also takes issue with the Trump administration’s contention that the executive order is unreviewable by the courts, including the Supreme Court.

“That position cannot be reconciled with this Court’s precedent and with the rule of law,” the ABA brief said.

The U.S. Supreme Court, which begins its new term on Oct. 2, will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the travel ban eight days later. Since separate but similar rulings by the 4th and 9th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals several months ago, there has been a see-saw legal battle over the Trump administration’s effort to block entry to travelers and refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“The (Executive) Order attempts to justify its blanket ban on entry by nationals of the six designated countries and by refugees as necessary to protect the nation from acts of terrorism pending the administration’s review of vetting procedures,” the ABA brief said. “But that justification is weak. The order provides no instance of any national of five of the six designated countries engaging in an act of terrorism, and the only example it gives from the remaining country, Somalia, is of a national who entered as a 2-year-old, became a citizen and was later radicalized here. … The Department of Homeland Security has found no meaningful relationship between citizenship of a foreign nation and proclivity to commit terrorist acts.”

The ABA amicus brief in International Refuge Assistance Project v Donald J. Trump can be found here.

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