Nation’s Highest Court Hears Arguments to Determine Lawfulness of Travel Ban

On April 25, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments to determine whether the travel ban, prohibiting or restricting immigration and travel from a number of predominantly Muslim countries, is unlawful.

MoFo lawyers led by Joe Palmore, Marc Hearron, and Sophie Brill filed an amicus brief in the case to give voice to more than 40 religious and interreligious organizations, urging the Court to reject the ban and the discriminatory policy it embodies.

Sophie Brill, who worked on the brief and attended the hearing, said in a statement: “Our clients strongly oppose the travel ban and I hope that our brief helps the Court to see what is plain to them—this ban represents outright religious discrimination.”

The amicus brief prepared by the MoFo team makes two points. First, the Constitution gives Congress, not the Executive Branch, power over immigration, and the Presidential Proclamation cannot overcome a statutory prohibition against nationality-based restrictions on immigration that Congress enacted with strong interfaith support in 1965. Second, the ban discriminates against Muslims on the basis of their religion in violation of the First Amendment, which is a blow to the religious freedom not only of Muslims, but to people of all faiths.

Over the course of the last 14 months, MoFo has represented more than 80 religious and interfaith groups in opposition to successive versions of the travel ban in multiple courts and has filed a total of eight briefs.

In addition to the lawyers mentioned above, Los Angeles partner Purvi Patel, Washington, D.C. associate Sandeep Nandivada, New York associate Amanda Aikman, and New York senior pro bono counsel Jennifer Brown contributed to the briefs.

MoFo associate Sophie Brill attends the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on the proposed travel ban

On April 25, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments to determine the legality of the travel ban