April 19, 2017
Issue: Muslim Ban
Friday Afternoon: Muslim Ban Gets its Day in D.C. Court
UPDATE: On May, 11, 2017, the court issued a stay in this case. Click here for more information.
2:00 pm Hearings on UMAA v. Trump and PARS Equality Center v. Trump
WASHINGTON – This Friday at 2:00 pm ET, the District Court of the District of Columbia will hold its first hearings on the Muslim ban in two different court cases: UMAA v. Trump and PARS Equality Center v. Trump. Taken together, these cases show the Muslim ban’s impact on families and communities as well our country’s fundamental guarantee of religious freedom and equality. Please note that lawyers for UMAA v Trump will be available for comment immediately after the hearing.
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
333 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Courtroom 2 – 2nd Floor
Washington D.C. 20001
Media Logistics Information: http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/media-information
About UMAA v. Trump:
On March 23, 2017, Muslim Advocates, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Muslim community against President Trump’s second Muslim ban executive order.
There are two sets of plaintiffs in the case. They include the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA), the country’s largest organization of Shi’a Muslims, whose members are being deprived of religious learning, worship, and services because their religious scholars almost exclusively hail from Iran, Iraq and Syria. One of their scholars has already been denied entry under the first Muslim ban executive order, and he and other scholars are likely to be denied entry again. The second set of plaintiffs are John and Jane Doe — parents blocked from bringing their children home from Yemen. Learn more here.
About the Plaintiffs and the Complaint in UMAA
The Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)
Many highest-ranking Shia scholars live in the nations of Iran, Iraq and Syria. UMAA, which is the largest organization of Shi’a Muslims in the United States, has been organizing conferences and events around these religious scholars for years. Since most Iranian and Syrian nationals are banned under the executive order, and Iraqis are subject to an unclear standard of extreme vetting, the members of UMAA are being cut off from their ability to study with their religious leaders, according to the lawsuit. This would be similar to banning all Catholic priests, cardinals, and bishops from coming to American churches.
John and Jane Doe
The Does are a Yemeni family of asylees living in the United States. As Yemen has been ravaged by civil war and famine, the Does were granted asylum in the United States but two of their six children are still stuck in Yemen. The Muslim ban denies these children entry into the United States, separating them from their family and endangering their safety and well-being.
- Click here to read the complaint.
- Click here to read the motion for a preliminary injunction against the ban.
- Click here to read UMAA’s declaration of harms.
- Click here to read a backgrounder on why the Muslim ban is clearly an attempt to write religious discrimination into law.
- Click here to read how the ban’s emphasis on “honor killings” is really just a flimsy and inaccurate attempt to stigmatize Muslims.
- Click here to read the stay issued in the case on May 11, 2017.
Also being argued is PARS Equality Center v. Trump:
This lawsuit was filed by Iranian-American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer on behalf of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans. The declarations in the case include accounts of refugees, wedding plans being disrupted, of families being forced to disconnect from each other, and medical conditions worsened by the ban. Learn more here.