Hawaii v. Trump
On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order that, among other things, banned individuals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – all majority Muslim countries – from entering the United States. On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a second order, which made a number of minor revisions, but continued to discriminate against and target Muslims.
A federal district court in Hawaii issued preliminary injunctive relief preventing enforcement of Trump’s revised order, and the Trump Administration sued. CAC filed a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of members of Congress urging the court of appeals to affirm the district court’s decision, and the court of appeals did so. The Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. The Court agreed to do so and partially stayed the injunction pending appeal.
CAC again filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of members of Congress urging the Justices to strike down Trump’s Muslim ban, but before the Court could hear oral argument, President Trump issued a third travel ban that placed varying levels of travel restrictions on citizens of eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Because the new order superseded the old one, the Supreme Court removed the case from its oral argument schedule and sent it back to the court of appeals with instructions to dismiss the case as moot.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint challenging the third travel ban and sought injunctive relief. The Hawaii district court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the new order, which the Government appealed. (The Supreme Court subsequently stayed the injunction pending disposition of the Government’s appeal and disposition of the Government’s petition for a writ of certiorari if it ultimately filed such a petition.)
CAC filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of members of Congress in the Ninth Circuit in support of the plaintiffs. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction and held that the President once again exceeded the scope of his authority under the INA. The Government asked the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, and it agreed to do so.
CAC filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of members of Congress in support of Hawaii. Our brief first argues that the President’s sweeping order exceeds the President’s delegated powers under the Immigration and Naturalization Act and violates our Constitution’s system of separation of powers. The order writes discrimination into our nation’s immigration laws, ignoring Congress’s carefully chosen, specific criteria for excluding from our country persons suspected of terrorist activity and flouting Congress’s prohibition on nationality-based discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas. The President’s powers, though broad, do not permit him to supersede immigration laws enacted by Congress that he dislikes.
Second, as our brief also explains, even if the order did fall within the President’s delegated authority – which it does not – it would violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which forbids laws that target a disfavored religious minority for discriminatory treatment. As history shows, the Framers were familiar with colonial religious establishments that tried to keep out disfavored religious believers. The First Amendment denies the federal government the power to write this kind of religious discrimination into law. Because the President’s latest order, like its predecessor, is infected by anti-Muslim animus, it violates the First Amendment.
January 27, 2017
Trump issues first travel ban
March 6, 2017
Trump issues second travel ban
March 15, 2017
Federal district court in Hawaii issues preliminary injunctive relief preventing enforcement of Trump’s revised order, and the Government appeals the injunction
April 21, 2017
CAC files amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals9th Circuit Amicus Brief
June 12, 2017
Ninth Circuit upholds preliminary injunction9th Circuit Opinion
June 26, 2017
Supreme Court agrees to review lower court’s preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the travel ban and issues partial stay of the injunction
July 13, 2017
District court issues interpretation of the Supreme Court’s stay ruling
July 18, 2017
CAC files motion to file brief in opposition to Government’s application to stay the Ninth Circuit’s injunctionU.S. Sup. Ct. Motion in Opposition
July 19, 2017
Supreme Court issues a partial stay of the modified injunctionU.S. Sup. Ct. Order
September 18, 2017
CAC files amicus brief in the Supreme CourtU.S. Sup. Ct. Amicus Brief
September 24, 2017
Trump issues third travel ban
October 24, 2017
Supreme Court vacates the preliminary injunction and remands the case to the Ninth Circuit, with instructions to dismiss the case as moot
October 17, 2017
Hawaii district court issues preliminary injunction enjoining new order, and the government appeals to the Ninth Circuit
November 22, 2017
CAC files amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit9th Circuit Amicus Brief
December 6, 2017
Ninth Circuit hears oral argument
December 22, 2017
Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s preliminary injunction
January 5, 2018
Government asks Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision
January 19, 2018
Supreme Court grants government’s petition for certiorari
March 30, 2018
CAC files amicus brief in the Supreme CourtU.S. Sup. Ct. Merits Stage Brief
April 25, 2018
The Court hears oral argument