The day is finally here: This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s cruel Muslim ban. We have urged the Supreme Court to rule on the right side of history and strike down the ban, which discriminates against Muslims based solely on their religion.
Americans United has been fighting Trump’s unconstitutional and un-American Muslim ban from the beginning, and today is no different: We’ll be joining allies at the court to affirm there should be “No Muslim Ban Ever.”
AU Executive Director Rachel Laser will be speaking at a rally outside, and AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee will be inside the courtroom to hear the arguments. I hope you’ll tune in for their Facebook Live video afterward at noon EST, during which they’ll explain what happened and why AU has been so involved in the legal challenges against the ban.
When Trump campaigned in December 2015 for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” AU immediately condemned his remarks and noted the parallels to a shameful period in American history – when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. (Karen Korematsu, the daughter of the man who unsuccessfully challenged the internment before the Supreme Court, is also expected to speak at today’s rally.)
When a newly inaugurated President Trump hastily issued the first version of his Muslim ban in January 2017, AU sprang into action. One of our attorneys was at Dulles International Airport that weekend to join the volunteer legal effort to help immigrants and travelers facing deportation, and within the week AU attorneys wrote a friend-of-the-court brief and flew to Seattle for arguments in Washington v. Trump, the Muslim-ban challenge that resulted in the first nationwide order blocking the ban.
Stymied by the courts, Trump issued Muslim Ban 2.0 in March 2017. That same month, AU joined allies to file UMAA v. Trump on behalf of the Universal Muslim Association of America, whose Shi’a Muslim members were being deprived of access to their religious scholars from Iran. AU also filed friend-of-the-court briefs in other cases challenging the ban, including Hawaii v. Trump.
When Muslim Ban 2.0 expired in September, Trump issued a new, indefinite version of the Muslim ban. A week later, AU, Muslim Advocates and the law firm Covington & Burling filed the first lawsuit against Muslim Ban 3.0. In Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) v. Trump, we represent six people in the U.S. whose relatives are blocked from coming here, plus two organizations whose educational and cultural missions are hindered by the ban.
A federal appeals court in February agreed with us that the ban should be blocked from going into effect, noting that Trump’s order is “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam.” And that’s what AU and allies explained in a friend-of-the-court brief we filed last month with the Supreme Court on behalf of our IAAB plaintiffs.
Courts across the country have ruled against Trump’s Muslim ban. Leaders from both political parties – including now-Vice President Mike Pence – have spoken out against banning Muslims from the U.S. A new public-opinion poll found that more American voters disapprove of the ban than approve of it.
The majority of Americans understand that America is at its best when people of all religions are welcome here. We know the Muslim ban’s true intent is to narrow the space for religious diversity in our country and to please those who seek to protect white Christian dominance in American life.
At Americans United, we choose to fight for a country that affirms every person’s human dignity, embraces diversity, welcomes the stranger and upholds American constitutional values. There is no room for a Muslim ban here.