Federal Appeals Court Refuses To Reinstate Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction that prevents President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 from going into effect.

The court did not mince words in its condemnation of the ban as an affront to the First Amendment. The opinion calls Muslim Ban 2.0 an order that “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”

Looking at statements that President Trump and his surrogates made both on the campaign trail and since his inauguration, the court concluded that the ban was motivated by “President Trump’s desire to exclude Muslims from the United States,” and therefore that it could not stand in the face of the First Amendment’s prohibition on religious discrimination.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, which was joined by Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice; the Southern Poverty Law Center; five Christian clergy members; and The Riverside Church in New York City. In the brief, we urged the court to affirm the District of Maryland’s decision to block the Muslim ban from taking effect. And in doing so, today’s decision adopts many of the arguments our brief made.

Federal courts continue to uphold that President Trump's Muslim ban is unconstitutional.

The opinion notes that “[i]mproper government involvement with religion ‘tends to destroy government and to degrade religion,’ encourage persecution of religious minorities and nonbelievers, and foster hostility and division in our pluralistic society.” Muslim Ban 2.0 does all of this and more as it runs roughshod over the Constitution’s guarantees of religious freedom. 

“We applaud the 4th Circuit for blocking President Trump’s attempt to bar Muslim travelers from the United States. Multiple federal courts nationwide have blocked the Muslim ban, which should send a strong message to this administration to drop the repeated attempts to target Muslims for discrimination,” said Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United.

No one should be singled out for discrimination because of their religious beliefs. Muslim Ban 2.0 is blatantly unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American. That’s why Americans United will continue to fight it every step of the way.

You can read more about our efforts to fight the Muslim ban here.