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The Government Just Asked The Supreme Court to Revisit the Muslim Ban. Here’s What Comes Next.

JFK Protest
JFK Protest
Amrit Cheng,
Former Communications Strategist,
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June 2, 2017

In the late hours of Thursday night, the Trump administration requested that the Supreme Court review the recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that refused to let the president’s Muslim ban go forward. In doing so, the government has recommitted itself to fighting for the ban, which the Fourth Circuit found “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”

The Trump administration made three requests to the Supreme Court. The first focused on preserving the ban in the long-term, and the other two focused on its implementation in the short-term. The government would like our nation’s highest court to:

  • Take up the Fourth Circuit’s case, review the appeals court’s decision, and reverse its judgment
  • Stay the Fourth Circuit’s injunction of the ban, allowing it to go into effect during the time that it takes for the Supreme Court to come to an ultimate ruling
  • And simultaneously stay another injunction of the ban, which was ordered by the district court in Hawaii. That case was recently heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, following a district court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional.

The ACLU, our partners, and our clients stand firm in our conviction that President Trump’s Muslim ban is a discriminatory affront to the Constitution and the fundamental principle that our country does not discriminate on the basis of religion. We are at the ready to push back on the government’s latest attempt to resuscitate it.

At the risk of repeating ourselves: This “travel” ban is a ban on Muslims.

Our first step will be to ask the Supreme Court to refuse to stay the Fourth Circuit’s decision, which was supported by a large majority of the judges on the full court and is consistent with rulings from other courts across the nation. Most importantly, the decision was in keeping with the First Amendment, which enshrines the basic principle that the government cannot favor or disfavor one religion versus others.

And at the risk of repeating ourselves, again and again, we’ll reaffirm: This “travel” ban is a ban on Muslims. It makes good on repeated promises from the president to prevent Muslims from entering the United States.

Now in order to save the President Trump’s unconstitutional project, the government would like the Supreme Court to ignore his and his advisors’ statements that demonstrate the discriminatory intent of the Muslim ban. But this issue was already debated in front of the Fourth Circuit, and the judges found that they “could not shut [their] eyes to such evidence when it stares [them] in the face.”

We won’t shut our eyes either. This afternoon, the Supreme Court asked for our response to the government’s appeal for a stay in the next 10 days. Following that, should the court choose to revisit the President’s Muslim ban, we will be prepared to defend not only the rights of Muslim Americans and immigrants across our country, but our Constitution itself.

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