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CAIR Goes to Court to Challenge Trump’s Muslim Ban

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/8/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today went to court to challenge President Trump’s Muslim ban. #NoMuslimBanEver.

This morning, the entire Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether to uphold the Maryland district court’s decision to partially block the latest version of the ban. The Trump administration argued that the president’s anti-Muslim comments and tweets are irrelevant. 

The government continued to urge the court that once President Trump uses the words “national security” the court must accept that conclusion. On that point, Judge Pamela Harris commented that even with giving President Trump deference and construing his statements “in a light more favorable to the president, it’s a little tricky to find the national security rationale.”

SEE: Fourth Circuit Struggles with Trump’s Tweets in Weighing Travel Ban

CAIR and others argued that the Muslim ban is discriminatory and that the president is acting to disfavor Islam in violation of the First Amendment. “Muslim Ban 3.0” seeks to re-write immigration laws in an attempt to block more than 150 million Muslims from even considering entering America. 

Today’s arguments follow the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case challenging a Hawaii District Court order that also blocked Muslim Ban 3.0.  The Fourth Circuit is expected to issue a decision quickly. 

“CAIR continues to stand for freedom, equality and religious tolerance. We will not rest while President Trump’s Islamophobic prejudice unfairly separates American Muslims from their loved ones,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri.

Earlier this week, CAIR expressed deep concern over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” to be implemented until the court makes a final decision about the executive action’s constitutionality. 

CAIR and the Brennan Center for Justice filed suit against President Trump’s Muslim Ban on behalf of six American Muslims impacted by the immigration restrictions. Civil rights attorneys, including CAIR National attorney Gadeir Abbas, delivered oral arguments against the ban in mid-October.  

On appeal, this case, Zakzok v. Trump, was consolidated with two others and are jointly pending before the Fourth Circuit. 

Video: CAIR, Other Civil Rights Groups Hold Presser After Md. Court Arguments on Trump’s Muslim Ban

In a broad ruling on October 18th, U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted CAIR and other groups’ request for a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from implementing its latest attempt to exclude Muslims from the United States. 

Judge Chuang ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to ultimately succeed in proving that anti-Muslim animus motivated the travel ban in violation of the Establishment Clause. He also noted that the ban violates federal law, which forbids the government from discriminating against visa applicants based on their nationality.

SEE: Second Judge Rules Against Latest Travel Ban, Saying Trump’s Own Words Show It Was Aimed at Muslims

CAIR welcomed a decision by another federal judge in Hawaii to block the Trump administration from implementing the ban. The judge’s decision only blocks the ban for 14 days.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Federal Judge’s Decision to Block Trump’s ”˜Muslim Ban 3.0’

In September, CAIR — with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Profeta & Eisenstein — filed an amicus brief with U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of seven American Muslims.

READ Amicus Brief

These groups also filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in August.

Read CAIR’s Amicus Brief

In January, just days after Trump signed the first Muslim ban executive order, CAIR filed suit. 

SEE: CAIR Files Federal Suit Challenging Constitutionality of Trump’s ”˜Muslim Ban’ Executive Order

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.     

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CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,


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