Amicus Brief: Supreme Court Must Consider Americans Harmed by Muslim Ban

March 30, 2018

New York, N.Y. –  President Trump’s Muslim ban is tearing apart families and stigmatizing entire communities, according to an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court today on behalf of six individual American Muslims and their families.

On April 25, the Supreme Court will hear Trump v. Hawaii, following a finding from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the third and latest iteration of Trump’s Muslim ban is unlawful. The ban has had devastating consequences for American Muslims, including Eblal Zakzok, Sumaya Hamadmad, Fahed Muqbil, and three others who filed their brief today against the ban.

The experiences of these six individuals — from a mother separated from her critically ill child, an American citizen receiving medical care in the U.S., to a Professor whose daughter is stranded in Turkey, where female refugees are frequent criminal targets — “show the heart-wrenching effect of government-sanctioned discrimination,” reads the brief. “This is not the promise of the United States and its Constitution: this country has always aspired to carefully guard religious freedom and held itself out as welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world who commit to upholding our institutions and ideals.”

“Every court given the opportunity has said this ban is illegal, but the government continues to defend it,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program. “Long term threats to our law and democracy are only part of this ban’s harm. Families across America are already suffering from the ban as their loved ones — spouses, siblings, children — face the prospect of physical and economic harm. The sooner the Court can act, the better.”

The American Muslims filing their brief today were also named plaintiffs in Zakzok v. Trump, a parallel lawsuit challenging the Muslim ban in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fourth Circuit heard their case in conjunction with two similar lawsuits, IRAP v. Trump and IAAB v. Trump, and held that the Muslim ban likely violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which guarantees religious freedom. Their case is now pending before the Supreme Court; the Justices have opted to hear the Hawaii case first.

The brief was filed with the assistance of the Brennan Center for Justice, the Council on American Islamic Relations, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Profeta & Eisenstein. 

Read the Brennan Center’s amicus brief.

Read more about the Brennan Center’s work on Liberty & National Security.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Naren Daniel at (646) 292-8381, or naren.daniel@nyu.edu.

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