Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Maryland Federal Court’s Decision Giving Civil Rights Group Legal Authority to Demand Access to Government Info About Trump’s Muslim Ban

(WASHINGTON, DC, 5/3/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed a first-of-its-kind decision by a federal court in Maryland rejecting the Trump administration’s attempt to stop CAIR and a coalition of leading civil rights groups from seeking information proving that the Muslim Ban had a bigoted purpose. 

With this decision, CAIR will be able to demand documents about the Muslim Ban’s genesis and its implementation as well as depose government officials in order to develop an authoritative accounting of this historic injustice. 

The court found that that the lawsuit successfully detailed the President “exhibiting religious animus toward Muslims and articulating a desire to ban Muslims from entering the United States.” Judge Chuang allowed CAIR’s challenge to move forward, because the facts asserted “support a conclusion that the Proclamation was issued for the illegitimate purpose of advancing fear and hatred toward Muslims.”

READ – MD Court Opinion

The challenge, brought by CAIR and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, seeks to invalidate the Muslim Ban under the standard set by Trump v. Hawaii.  

The decision is part of a set of three cases being considered in parallel by the federal court — International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump and Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump being the other two cases.  

This decision proves that the Supreme Court’s decision last year will not be the last opportunity to hold the Trump administration accountable for its decision to impose a Muslim Ban,” said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas.  

“We welcome this decision and thank our legal team for their diligence on this important issue,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “CAIR will continue to challenge the unconstitutional Muslim ban through every legal avenue available.”

On October 18, 2017, Judge Chuang — the federal judge who wrote today’s decision — issued a broad injunction against the Muslim Ban.  

SEE: Federal judge hears challenge to third version of Trump’s travel ban

That injunction was undone by the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii.  

SEE: Democrats, civil rights groups slam Supreme Court ruling on travel ban

The cases being heard are:

International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump
, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, National Immigration Law Center, and International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center on behalf of HIAS, IRAP, the Middle East Studies Association, Yemeni American Merchants Association, and the Arab American Association of New York.

Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump, brought by Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Covington & Burling LLP, on behalf of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), a student affiliate of IAAB at the University of Maryland, College Park, and six individual plaintiffs, in consultation with the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC).

Zakzok v. Trump, brought by CAIR and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 202-742-6420,; CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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