Civil Rights Groups Urge Court to Continue Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Muslim Ban

Washington, DC – Today, an alliance of civil rights groups will ask the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to reject the government’s attempts to dismiss three parallel cases, including IAAB v. Trump, a major lawsuit challenging President Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban brought by Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Covington & Burling, LLP.

The hearing will take place at 9 a.m. at the U.S. District Court in Maryland, 6500 Cherrywood Lane (Judge Theodore D. Chuang’s courtroom), Greenbelt, Maryland. Media on-site can reach Eric Naing (217-493-8194/[email protected]) to discuss the case with counsel.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Trump v. Hawaii allowed the ban to be implemented, but it did not settle the question of whether the ban violates the Establishment Clause, a fundamental First Amendment protection that prevents the government from favoring one religion over another. If the case against the government moves forward, it will be a significant step forward in the legal fight against the Muslim Ban.

IAAB v. Trump is the first major lawsuit brought against the Muslim Ban as it currently stands after the Supreme Court’s decision. The plaintiffs in the case include Iranian Alliances Across Borders, an Iranian-American diaspora community organization, and U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who have been personally affected by the ban.

According to Sirine Shebaya, interim legal director of Muslim Advocates: “The fight against the Muslim Ban is not over, and our clients and communities deserve an opportunity to fully litigate the issues that remain open after the Supreme Court ruling in Hawaii. Both in its origins and its implementation, this ban is discriminatory and unconstitutional, and we hope the court allows our case to move forward so that we can continue to hold the government accountable for its actions.”

According to Mana Kharrazi, executive director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders: The Muslim Ban continues to tear apart our families and remains as a justification for discriminating against and demonizing our communities. We are hopeful that our families will find relief and be reunited, and that our community will feel visible during this terrible chapter in our country’s history. We aspire to live in a country that embraces us as members, respects us as human beings, and recognizes our faiths, cultures, and languages as vibrant additions to the diversity and richness of America.”

According to Richard B. Katskee, legal director of Americans United: “More than two years after President Trump issued his first Muslim Ban, his administration continues the cruel policy of separating Muslim families and signaling to Muslims in America that they are not welcome here because of their religion. The Muslim Ban remains a blight on our country’s fundamental promise of religious freedom for all. We urge the district court to allow this lawsuit to proceed and to afford our plaintiffs the opportunity to show that the ban is not just profoundly un-American but also unconstitutional.”

Additional resources:

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.

Iranian Alliances Across Borders is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 2003. IAAB addresses issues of the Iranian diaspora by facilitating community building, developing ways to better understand what it means to be part of a diaspora community, and empowering members of the Iranian diaspora community to enhance connections with their new communities as well as maintain connections with their root community.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.