After President Donald Trump issued the third version of his long-promised “Muslim Ban” in September 2017, Muslim Advocates—along with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, and in partnership with the National Iranian American Council—filed the first major federal lawsuit challenging Muslim Ban 3.0, charging it violates the Constitution—including the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion and Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, regardless of religion and national origin.
Muslim Ban 3.0 bars travel for most individuals from six Muslim-majority countries and nominally added two additional countries to the list: North Korea, which sends almost no immigrants to the United States already; and Venezuela, from which the Proclamation bans only certain government officials and their families seeking visitor visas to the United States.
The case was filed on behalf of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (“IAAB”), an Iranian-American diaspora community organization, Iranian Students’ Foundation, a University of Maryland, College Park affiliate of IAAB, and six individual plaintiffs, all of whom are United States citizens or lawful permanent residents with Iranian relatives or spouses who have been blocked from coming to the United States. The court related the case to two other lawsuits against the Muslim Ban, allowing them to be heard together.
In October 2017, the district court granted an injunction in the case, preventing the government from carrying out Muslim Ban 3.0. That ruling was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The federal government appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed to hear another case, Trump v. Hawaii, that also challenged the legality of Muslim Ban 3.0. On June 25, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the federal government, and allowed the continued implementing Muslim Ban 3.0. As a result, IAAB v. Trump has returned to the district court for additional proceedings.
Date filed: October 3, 2017
Court(s): United States District Court for the District of Maryland; United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Co-Counsel: Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Covington & Burling LLP