This week, Morrison & Foerster filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of an interfaith group of 22 mostly national faith-based organizations, urging the Court to deny the Trump administration’s request to stay the federal court injunctions that have prevented the travel and refugee bans from taking effect. The challenged Executive Order, if it were to take effect, would halt entry to the United States by the nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as refugees from around the word.
The brief filed by Morrison & Foerster discusses the harm to Muslims living in the United States that would result from the travel and refugee bans. The brief also focuses on the broader harms to religious freedom for persons of all faith that would result by undermining the fundamental principle that the government must not favor or disfavor any religion. The brief also outlines how the refugee ban interferes with the missions of faith-based organizations that provide assistance to refugees, who are some of the most vulnerable people on Earth.
The firm previously filed briefs on behalf of a broad, interfaith group of religious organizations in the Fourth and Ninth Circuits as well as federal district courts in New York and Maryland. On Monday, June 12, the Ninth Circuit issued its decision upholding a district court injunction against the Executive Order. Citing the amicus brief that Morrison & Foerster filed in that court, the Ninth Circuit explained that enforcement of the Order would “immediately harm refugees who will be denied entry and risk the vitality of entire refugee assistance programs and resettlement efforts.”
The organizations represented by this brief are the Alliance of Baptists, American Jewish World Service, Anti-Defamation League, Church World Service, Disciples Home Missions, Franciscans for Justice, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Interfaith Alliance, Islamic Relief USA, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, Muslim Advocates, National Council of Jewish Women, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, School Sisters of St. Francis, Sojourners, Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ, T’ruah, The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, The Union for Reform Judaism, The Central Conference of American Rabbis, Women of Reform Judaism, and Unitarian Universalist Association.
The Supreme Court amicus effort was led by Joe Palmore and Marc Hearron of the Appellate & Supreme Court practice group in Washington, D.C., and senior pro bono counsel Jennifer Brown in New York.