Jun 12, 2017

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Donald J. Trump did not have the authority to issue his executive order restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries.

The court today upheld a preliminary injunction in State of Hawaiʻi v. Trump, a case in which Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a friend-of-the-court brief that was joined by Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice; the Southern Poverty Law Center; seven Christian clergy members; and The Riverside Church in New York City.

This is the second appeals court to agree that the ban should remain on hold. On May 25, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ban unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims.

“Another federal appeals court has confirmed what we’ve said from the beginning: President Trump is not above the law. The Muslim ban discriminates against Muslims. We don’t do that in this country,” said Richard B. Katskee, legal director of Americans United. “This ban is blatantly un-American. It violates our nation’s fundamental promise of religious freedom – that people have the right to believe or not as they see fit without fear of discrimination by the government.

“Once again, the 9th Circuit has correctly struck down the president’s Muslim ban,” Katskee continued. “If the Supreme Court decides to hear these cases, we hope and expect that it will affirm that Trump’s ill-conceived order fosters religious intolerance and cannot stand.”

In addition to filing friend-of-the-court briefs supporting several challenges to Trump’s Muslim ban, Americans United represents the plaintiffs in Universal Muslim Association of America v. Trump, a lawsuit we filed with our allies Muslim Advocates, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. UMAA v. Trump focuses on how the ban harms the American Muslim community. More information on our efforts to fight the Muslim ban is available here.