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Press Release

Brennan Center Wins Suit Against Trump’s Third Muslim Ban, Fight for American Values Continues

Zakzok v. Trump was brought by the Center and CAIR on behalf of six American Muslim plaintiffs for whom the travel ban would have devastating consequences.

October 18, 2017

Today, a federal court in Maryland ruled that President Trump’s third attempt to institute the “Muslim Ban” promised during his presidential campaign was in violation of the law and the Constitution, and cannot be implemented as planned on October 18. The previous two versions of the ban were also struck down by courts.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, together with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, had filed suit in Zakzok v. Trump against the latest ban on behalf of six American Muslim plaintiffs for whom the ban would have devastating consequences – from a mother separated from her critically ill child, an American citizen receiving medical care in the U.S., to an American citizen whose sister was blocked from accepting offers of academic collaboration from U.S. universities.

“Today’s ruling is a victory of law over prejudice. Yet again, a federal court has made it clear that it will not stand for blanket bans on Muslims, even when they are wrapped up in pseudo national security rationales,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program. “Of course, the fight is far from over and we must continue working to ensure that the administration’s anti-Muslim bias is not translated into policies, such as discriminatory extreme vetting rules.”

Parallel suits against the ban were filed by other groups, including the ACLU, International Refugee Assistance Project, Iranian Americans Across Borders, Muslim Advocates, National Immigration Law Center, and Yemeni American Merchants Association. The cases were heard and decided together by a federal district court in Maryland.

Yesterday, a federal court in Hawaii also halted the latest version of the ban, in a separate case. The Hawaii court blocked the entire ban, while the Maryland court blocked the ban’s enforcement on immigrants who have a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in the U.S. and are nationals of the targeted Muslim-majority nations.

Eblal Zakzok, the lead plaintiff in the Brennan Center’s case, wrote an op-ed for USA Today Monday explaining how the ban has affected his family and those of other American Muslim plaintiffs.

Read the Brennan Center’s case page on Zakzok v. Trump, including today’s ruling.

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