January 22, 2018
Issue: Stopping Discrimination
13 Muslim, Faith-Based, and Civil Rights Community Orgs File Amicus Brief In Support of Guantánamo Bay Muslim Detainees
Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates and the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center filed an amicus brief on behalf of 13 Muslim, faith-based, and civil rights community organizations in support of Guantánamo Bay detainees for whom the Center for Constitutional Rights filed habeas petitions last week. At issue in these cases is whether President Donald Trump’s blanket policy against release or transfer of any of Guantánamo’s Muslim detainees, regardless of their individualized circumstances, is unlawful under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution and exceeds the authority granted to the President by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (“AUMF”).
Most of the detainees have been detained without charge for over fifteen years, and several have already been cleared for transfer. Yet the Trump Administration has refused to even consider their transfer or release. In their brief, the groups highlight “how President Trump’s statements and actions reflect a deep-seated antipathy towards Islam and Muslims. This ideology is inextricably intertwined with [President Trump’s] policy determination to not release the remaining Guantánamo Muslim detainees regardless of their individualized circumstances.”
According to Johnathan Smith, legal director of Muslim Advocates, “President Trump has made clear his intent to use the power of his office to discriminate against Muslims and people of color. His blanket policy to deny individualized consideration to Guantanamo’s Muslim detainees is yet another manifestation of his well-documented anti-Muslim hatred. We hope the Court will uphold these Muslim men’s constitutional right to due process and grant their motions for a writ of habeas corpus.”
According to Amir Ali of the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, “American Muslims are depending upon the courts to carry out their critical role in safeguarding vulnerable minority communities. That is why it is critical for the courts to see the full extent of the Donald Trump’s clear and specific intention to attack people of the Muslim faith, which has included disseminating propaganda to equate the Muslim faith with terrorism and advocating for a religion-based registry for Muslims. He has made clear he will use Guantanamo as another tool in his pursuit of religious persecution.”
Signers include: Muslim Advocates, Asian Americans Advancing Justice–AAJC, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Capital Area Muslim Bar Association, Council on American-Islamic Relations-National, Muslim Bar Association of New York, Muslim Justice League, Muslim Public Affairs Council, New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association, Revolutionary Love Project and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.
The MacArthur Justice Center is a not-for-profit organization founded by the family of J. Roderick MacArthur to advocate for human rights and social justice through litigation. They have represented clients facing myriad human rights and civil rights injustices, including issues of discrimination, the unlawful detention of foreign nationals, and the rights of marginalized groups in the American justice system.