The President’s revised Executive order, designed to protect our nation from foreign terrorists, continues to face attacks in numerous federal courts. Today we took direct action in federal appeals court.
The Executive order temporarily pauses entry into the United States of refugees and nationals from six unstable and/or terrorism-infested countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The clear purpose of the Executive order is to allow time for needed improvements to the immigration and refugee screening processes from these countries – to ensure terrorists are kept out.
ISIS and other terrorist groups have been publicly calling for jihadists to infiltrate and attack America through our porous immigration and refugee programs. This Executive order was intended to prevent these kinds of attacks. But now several federal district judges have labeled this Executive order to keep America safe a “Muslim ban” and ruled that it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
This just simply isn’t true. This Executive order is a clearly constitutional exercise of the President’s authority to protect America under the law.
Last month, the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, Virginia, to defend the constitutionality of the revised Executive order, the enforcement of which was preliminary enjoined by a federal trial judge in Maryland.
Today, the ACLJ filed another friend-of-the-court brief in defense of the Executive order. This brief was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, California. The Ninth Circuit is considering the government’s appeal from an injunction a federal trial judge in Hawaii entered to halt the enforcement of the Executive order on a nationwide basis.
As we did in the Fourth Circuit, we argue to the Ninth Circuit that President Trump has broad power to exclude foreign nationals from entering our country on the basis of national security reasons. When the Supreme Court has considered constitutional challenges to immigration-related actions of this sort, it has declined to subject those actions to the same level of scrutiny applied to non-immigration-related actions. The revised Executive order is a valid exercise of President Trump’s authority that courts should not disturb.
Further, the revised Executive order satisfies traditional Establishment Clause scrutiny since it has a secular purpose—defense of national security—and was not motivated by anti-religious considerations. We clearly articulated why the Executive order does not violate the Constitution but in fact lawfully exercises the President’s constitutional and legal authority to defend America from the very real threat of terror.
The ACLJ’s brief was joined by over 205,000 members of the ACLJ’s Committee to Defend Our National Security from Terror.
The ACLJ will continue to keep you posted on this case and our other efforts to defend our national security.
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