Challenging the Trump Travel Ban at The Supreme Court

On June 12, MoFo filed an amicus brief on behalf of an interfaith group of 22 mostly national faith-based organizations urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the government’s request that the court issue an immediate stay of the federal court injunctions that have prevented President Donald Trump’s “travel ban” executive order from taking effect.

The challenged executive order temporarily halts nationals of six predominately Muslim countries, as well as refugees from around the world, from entering the United States.

The order also cuts, by more than half, the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States this year.

The Fourth Circuit held that the country ban was motivated by unconstitutional anti-Muslim bias. The brief focused on the harm to religious freedom that lifting the injunctions would impose, not only on Muslims but on all people of faith, by undermining the principle that the government must not favor or disfavor any religion.

The brief also outlines how the executive order’s refugee provisions interfere with the mission many amici share of aiding refugees.

Also on June 12, the Ninth Circuit issued its decision upholding a district court injunction against the executive order.

The Ninth Circuit decision noted that enforcement of the order would “immediately harm refugees who will be denied entry and risk the vitality of entire refugee assistance programs and resettlement efforts,” citing the amicus brief that MoFo filed in that court expressing the opposition of nearly 50 faith-based organizations to the executive order.

The Supreme Court amicus team was led by Washington, D.C. partners Joe Palmore and Marc Hearron, and associate Sophia Brill. New York senior pro bono counsel Jennifer K. Brown conducted amicus outreach for the brief.