MoFo News Item

MoFo Brings Interfaith Objection to Travel & Refugee Ban to Supreme Court

19 Sep 2017

On September 18, Morrison & Foerster filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in IRAP v. Trump and Trump v. Hawaii on behalf of an interfaith group comprised of 39 religious and interreligious organizations spanning a broad range of beliefs, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. This diverse group united with one voice to urge the Court to affirm the decisions of the courts of appeals, which affirmed injunctions barring the travel and refugee bans from taking effect. The challenged Executive Order halted entry to the United States by the nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as refugees from around the word. The amicus brief comes ahead of the oral argument, which is scheduled for October 10.

Among the groups represented are the National Council of Churches, which represents 38 Christian denominations; American Jewish World Service; the Leadership Conference of Women Religious; Islamic Relief USA; and Church World Service, whose internationally recognized Immigration and Refugee Program has resettled nearly half a million refugees. The brief filed by Morrison & Foerster discusses the harm to Muslims living in the United States that has resulted from the travel and refugee bans, as well as 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.

Morrison & Foerster previously filed amicus briefs on behalf of similar interfaith groups in the Fourth and Ninth Circuits. The organizations represented in this brief are the Alliance of Baptists, American Baptist Churches USA, American Jewish World Services (AJWS), Avodah, Church of the Brethren, Church World Service (CWS), Disciples Home Missions, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Faith in Public Life, Franciscan Action Network (FAN), Franciscans for Justice, Friends Committee on National Legislation, General Synod of the United Church of Christ, Interfaith Alliance, Interfaith Worker Justice, Islamic Relief USA, Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Council of Churches, National Council of Jewish Women, National Justice for Our Neighbors, Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) (PCUSA), NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, School Sisters of Saint Francis, United States Province, Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, Iowa, Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, St. Francis Province, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, U.S.-Ontario Province, Sojourners, Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ, Tanenbaum, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and United Sikhs.

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.

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