Revised Order Remains Discriminatory and Unconstitutional. Fight Inside D.C. District Court Continues.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2017 — Today, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in coordination with pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (APKS), Iranian-American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, D.C.-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, and his firm, moved to amend a complaint in D.C. District Court, continuing its ongoing challenge inside the nation’s capital against this administration’s unlawful travel ban. President Trump’s Executive Order 13,780, issued March 6th, restricts travel to and from Iran and five other predominantly Muslim nations, halts the U.S. refugee program, and replaces Executive Order 13,769, issued January 27th. Plaintiffs filed suit against the prior order on February 8th. See Pars v. Trump, 17-cv-00255 (D.D.C.).
“The revised executive order still constitutes an unlawful Muslim Ban,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law. “The new executive order does not cure the discriminatory and unconstitutional effect of the travel ban. The order invites illegal profiling of minority and religious communities on the basis of race, national origin and religion right here in the United States. We will continue to fight this administration’s unlawful policies that hurt American democracy.”
The renewed challenge, like the first, was filed on behalf of several individuals and four prominent Iranian-American organizations: Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, Inc. The lawsuit seeks to protect and defend the Iranian-American community in the United States and abroad from the harmful and discriminatory effects of the Executive Order. Plaintiffs intend to seek preliminary relief to stop implementation of the new order.
Plaintiffs allege that the new order is simply candidate Trump’s Muslim ban by another name, just like the prior order, and as such it violates the First and Fifth amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The order also irrationally and arbitrarily singles out nationals of Iran and six other countries, attempts to set aside established law and constitutionally protected liberties with no notice and the stroke of pen, and burdens the exercise of religion, in violation of due process, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. Named defendants in the case include President Trump, the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State, the Attorney General and the acting head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection as defendants.
“The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law will continue to stand with Cyrus Mehri and an army of lawyers to deploy a robust legal strategy to combat this discriminatory ban,” added Ms. Clarke.
To learn more about the travel ban executive order lawsuit or to sign up for more information, visit www.EndTheTravelBan.com.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
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