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First Brief in Opposing Trump’s Muslim Ban Filed in Supreme Court

Argues that Trump’s voluminous record of hatred toward Muslims confirms his Travel Ban is driven by religious persecution

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court has before it a comprehensive record of Donald Trump’s hatred of Muslims, detailed in a friend-of-the-court brief, filed today by the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center. The brief, the first to respond to the Department of Justice’s arguments and to oppose  the “Muslim Ban”, argues that the Government’s arguments are “divorced from fact.” MJC’s brief documents the President’s repeated and specific calls to curtail the rights and prohibit the entry of Muslims, and their obvious connection to his revised travel ban, Executive Order 13780.

“By portraying the President’s prior statements as ‘offhand comments’ and ‘informal remarks,’ the Department of Justice is attempting to sanitize history,” said Amir Ali, Director of the MacArthur Justice Center’s Washington D.C. office. “The truth is that President Trump made his pledge to ban Muslims with remarkable specificity, down to the details of how he would make it appear neutral and the legal authority he would cite to get away with it.” 

In addition to calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, President Trump, called for the closing of mosques, advocated for a Muslim registry and equated being Muslims with being a terrorist. “The facts is that President Trump selected a small minority faith, ran a campaign that vilified people of that faith, and made specific, repeated promises to persecute them.” said Ali. 

The Trump Administration’s argument also relies on the claim that the oath of office “mark[ed] a profound transition” for President Trump. In reality, the Presidency has been an opportunity for him to turn words into action, issuing an Executive Order, without speaking to any national security staff, within days of his inauguration. The President’s website continued to call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until May 8, 2017 when the Acting Solicitor General was questioned about it by the Fourth Circuit.

“President Trump has never disavowed any of these views,” said Amir Ali. “In fact, he has publicly reprimanded his own Department of Justice for making the Executive Order ‘politically correct’.”

The brief argues that a failure for the court to intervene represents a clear abdication of the Supreme Court’s responsibility to protect vulnerable minorities. “This is not the first time the federal government has invoked the President’s wide discretion over national security as a pretext for discrimination. When the Court has accepted that pretext in the past, it has marked a permanent stain on US history. This would be no exception,” stated Ali. 

The MacArthur Justice Center’s briefing was previously used by Judge Watson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii when he first blocked Trump’s Travel Ban, in Hawaii v. Trump.

To learn more, and to view a copy of the brief, visit our case page here.

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About the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center
Founded in 1985, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is one of the premier civil rights law firms in the United States. The MacArthur Justice Center has offices in Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Oxford, MS, and Washington, DC. For additional information, visit Follow us on Twitter (@MacArthrJustice) and on Facebook ( for timely updates.

Keywords: Muslim immigration ban, Supreme Court, Trump

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