Court Cases

Universal Muslim Association of America (“UMAA”) v. Trump

Case Overview

Muslim Advocates, in conjunction with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the law firm of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer filed a federal lawsuit challenging the second version of President Donald Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” arguing that the policy violates the Constitution— including the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, regardless of religion and national origin.

The case was filed on behalf of the Universal Muslim Association of America, Inc. (UMAA), a nonprofit corporation that provides a platform for American Shi’a Muslims to advance political, social, economic, and religious goals important to their community as well as two individual plaintiffs, a Muslim Yemeni couple living in the United States as asylees whose two minor sons were in danger while waiting for visas in Yemen.

While the case was being considered, the Yemeni children were granted visas and entry into the United States, making UMAA the sole plaintiff on the case.

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation making some modifications to the list of “banned” countries and removing the policy’s time limit. Specifically, the Proclamation originally banned entry for all immigrants and certain non-immigrants from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. (Chad has since been removed from the list of banned countries.)

On October 10, 2017, the Supreme Court dismissed the two other cases concerning the Muslim Ban in light of the issuance of the Presidential Proclamation, and Muslim Advocates filed a new lawsuit challenging the Proclamation. As a result, the case was stayed on November 3, 2017 and closed on April 5, 2018.

Case Details

Date filed: March 24, 2017

Court(s):  United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Co-Counsel: Southern Poverty Law Center; Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

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