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Brennan Center v. U.S. Department of State

Case Overview

On October 2, 2017, Muslim Advocates, along with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU. The lawsuit seeks to compel the Trump Administration to release critically important details about a worldwide review it ostensibly conducted in order to arrive at the new list of countries included in President Donald Trump’s third Muslim Ban.

The second Muslim Ban included a section mandating that federal agencies conduct a worldwide review of visa issuance and other processes. The Trump administration claims that the results of that review determined which countries were included on the final list of countries banned indefinitely in President Trump’s September 24 Proclamation. The process and results of that review have been completely hidden from public view.

In July 2017, Muslim Advocates and partner organizations filed a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request on various “extreme vetting” measures enacted by the administration, including information regarding the worldwide review process. The administration has yet to comply with any part of that request, even though the statutory deadline for a response has long since passed.  On October 2, 2017, Muslim Advocates and its partners filed a lawsuit to compel the federal government to produce the requested documents.


Date filed: August, 21, 2017

Court(s):  United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Co-Counsel: Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Covington & Burling LLP

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