Herring continues fight against Trump travel ban
Attorney General Mark R. Herring, joined by Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, is leading a coalition of 17 state attorneys general in continuing the fight against President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional travel ban by filing an amicus brief in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The brief urges the court to reject the Trump administration’s request to reinstate the travel ban while it appeals a decision from the U.S. District Court for Maryland finding that the President’s scaled-back second executive order still likely violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.
“The second, scaled-back version of President Trump’s travel ban still suffers from the same fatal flaws as the first,” said Attorney General Herring. “The President simply cannot codify religious discrimination in an attempt to keep a campaign promise. The first ban and the looming threat of the second ban have already had a negative impact on our states, our residents, and our economies. Our coalition stands united in continuing to oppose the unconstitutional, unlawful, and deeply un-American ban. I thank all my colleagues, especially Attorney General Frosh, for joining in this effort.”
In urging the Court to continue the current injunction against the travel ban, the states make it clear that:
- the Trump administration is unlikely to win their appeal
- the public interest strongly favors a continued injunction against the stay
- the Trump administration has not demonstrated the required “irreparable harm” that would entitle it to a stay
- States and their residents will face significant harm if the ban goes into effect
The attorneys general describe the significant harm their residents and states would experience if the ban were allowed to go into effect, writing:
Letting the travel ban take effect would irreparably harm the Amici States. It would block entry by students, teachers, workers, and tourists from the six majority-Muslim countries. It would harm our citizens, lawful permanent residents, and resident visa holders, many of whom have family members and loved ones who would be presumptively denied entry. And it would amplify the message of fear and intimidation communicated to our Muslim communities by a President who has fulfilled his promise to single out Muslims for disfavored treatment.
The states also explain that President Trump’s scaled-back second executive order still “violates the Establishment Clause if President Trump’s primary purpose in issuing it was to keep his campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the country,” and “because the evidence of the President’s anti-Muslim animus was overwhelming and unrebutted” the plaintiffs cannot succeed in their appeal.
The brief, which was co-written by Attorney General Herring and Attorney General Frosh of Maryland, is joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Attorney General Herring has been among the national leaders in challenging President Trump’s ban, winning significant concessions in the revised order that protect Virginia residents from harm and winning the nation’s first and only preliminary injunctionagainst the original travel ban. He also joined 15 of his fellow attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of Washington and Minnesota in their successful challenge to the fist ban, as well as Hawaii’s successful challenge against the revised travel ban.