FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 25, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday overwhelmingly upheld an injunction blocking President Trump’s unlawful executive order targeting immigrants and travelers from six majority-Muslim nations.
“Once again, a federal court has recognized that the president’s travel ban is an unlawful attempt to target those of a particular faith,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil rights Under Law. “President Trump’s second attempt at a Muslim ban did nothing to cure the discriminatory and unconstitutional effect of the original travel ban. It continues to invite illegal profiling of minority and religious communities on the basis of race, national origin and religion right here in the United States. This kind of act stirs hate in our communities and it threatens the stability of our democracy.”
The Lawyers’ Committee filed an amicus brief in the case maintaining that the executive order could not withstand even the most basic form of constitutional review because it was so clearly motivated by a religious bias against Muslims. In their decision, the judges agreed by stating: “There is simply too much evidence that [the executive order] was motivated by religious animus for it to survive any measure of constitutional review.” They also said the executive order “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
The Lawyers’ Committee separately represents plaintiffs in another challenge to the constitutionality of the executive order in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The Lawyers’ Committee has launched a national effort to mobilize pro bono support to respond to hate incidents and hate crimes, which spiked after racially and religiously charged rhetoric, such as that described in the Fourth Circuit’s opinion today, dominated the 2016 election cycle. In March, the Lawyers’ Committee and The Leadership Conference Education Fund announced the formation of Communities Against Hate, an initiative of 16 prominent national organizations working together to address the disturbing spike in hate incidents across the United States. The Lawyers’ Committee’s Stop Hate Project and its resource hotline, 1-844-9-NO-HATE (1-844-966-4283), supports individuals targeted for hate and strengthens the capacity of community leaders, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with legal and social services resources and creating new legal resources in response to identified needs.
Seven other organizations joined the Lawyers’ Committee in filing the amicus brief: the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Mississippi Center for Justice, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC and Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP served as counsel.
A copy of the amicus brief can be found here.
About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; economic justice; voting; education and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law