Court: Trump order likely unconstitutional, issues prelim injunction
Judge Leonie Brinkema found Monday that President Donald Trump’s January 27 Executive Order is actually the Muslim ban that he promised as a candidate, and that therefore the Commonwealth is likely to prevail on its claim that the order discriminates against Muslims in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Because of the finding that the Commonwealth is likely to be successful in its claim, the judge granted Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s motion for the nation’s first preliminary injunction to protect Virginia residents and the Commonwealth itself from the harm caused by the ban.
In finding that the Commonwealth is likely to prevail on its claim that the order violates the First Amendment, Judge Brinkema wrote:
“The Commonwealth has produced unrebutted evidence supporting its position that it is likely to succeed on an Establishment Clause claim. The “Muslim ban” was a centerpiece of the president’s campaign for months, and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this Memorandum Opinion is being entered.”
Attorney General Herring issued the following statement on the nation’s first preliminary injunction:
“I saw this unlawful, unconstitutional, and un-American ban for exactly what it is and I’m glad the Court has, too. We presented a mountain of evidence showing this was the ‘Muslim ban’ that President Trump promised as a candidate, while his administration failed to refute one shred of our evidence or provide any of its own to support its claims. The overwhelming evidence shows that this ban was conceived in religious bigotry and is actually making Americans and our armed forces less safe at home and abroad. This preliminary injunction will protect Virginians while our case is pending, and the opinion explaining it lays out in stunning detail the extent to which the Court finds this order to likely violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”