On Tuesday, January 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, will hear arguments over whether civil rights groups can proceed in challenging the Trump administration's Muslim ban based on its discriminatory intent. Civil rights groups are urging members of the public to join them that morning to show up in court and, after the court hearing concludes, join them outside for a press conference and rally.
The day’s events will also mark three years since Trump’s first Muslim ban executive order 13769, which was issued on January 27, 2017.
RSVP: Fill Out the Event’s Google Form (Need a ride from DC?)
Time: Showing up in Court: Lining up to witness court proceedings begins at 8:30 AM outside the courthouse. Courthouse doors open at 8:45 AM. The hearing will take place in room 207. The court will begin hearing cases at 9:30 AM.
Courthouse Rules on Electronic Devices: Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the courtroom unless you are an attorney. Event organizers suggest leaving electronic devices in your personal vehicle or with a designated event coordinator.
Time: Press Conference and Rally: Immediately following the Muslim Ban hearing a press conference and rally will take place outside the courthouse. The press conference will take place sometime between 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM.
Note on Event’s Timing: Because the Muslim ban case is one of several being heard by the court that morning, the court will notify the public at 9:30 am EST when the Muslim ban oral argument will take place. The cases will most likely be called in the order in which they are listed and our case is the first case listed on the docket.Press conference and rally event organizers will issue a corresponding updated media advisory and make a separate announcement on the Facebook Event Page.***
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. United States Courthouse & Annex
1000 - 1100 E. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Sponsors of the day’s anti-Muslim ban courtroom event, press conference and rally include:
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
American Civil Liberties Union
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
International Refugee Assistance Project
Justice For Muslims Collective
National Immigration Law Center
No Muslim Ban Ever Campaign
Virginia Interfaith Center For Public Policy
Yemeni American Merchants Association (YAMA)
In May 2019, a federal district court in Maryland rejected the Trump administration's attempt to stop a coalition of leading civil rights groups from seeking information proving that the Muslim ban had a bigoted purpose and, as a result, unconstitutional even under the Supreme Court's decision in Trump v. Hawaii.
The district court found that that the lawsuit plausibly asserted that the President had "exhibit[ed] religious animus toward Muslims and articulat[ed] a desire to ban Muslims from entering the United States." Judge Chuang allowed the civil rights groups’ challenge to move forward, because the facts asserted "support a conclusion that the Proclamation was issued for the illegitimate purpose of advancing fear and hatred toward Muslims."
With that district court decision, civil rights groups would have been able to demand documents about the Muslim Ban's genesis and its implementation as well as depose government officials in order to develop an authoritative accounting of this historic injustice. Unfortunately, soon after the Maryland federal court's decision was issued, the Fourth Circuit stayed Judge Chuang's opinion pending a hearing and ruling reviewing it by the Fourth Circuit.
The hearing will address three cases being considered in parallel by the federal court:
International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, National Immigration Law Center, and International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) on behalf of HIAS, IRAP, the Middle East Studies Association, Yemeni American Merchants Association, and the Arab American Association of New York.
Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump, brought by Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Covington & Burling LLP on behalf of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), the Iranian Students’ Foundation (ISF), and four individual plaintiffs.
Zakzok v. Trump, brought by CAIR, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and Profeta & Eisenstein LLP.
CONTACT: CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert S. McCaw at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-999-8292