Monday, February 06, 2017

Hawaii Sues Trump Over Travel Ban

Last Friday, the state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump challenging his Executive Order imposing a travel ban on individuals from seven Muslim countries and imposing a moratorium on refugee admissions. The complaint and Memorandum in Support (full text of press release, complaint and Memorandum in support of TRO) in State of Hawai'i v. Trump, (D HI, filed 2/3/2017) particularly emphasize Establishment Clause concerns with the Executive Order. Plaintiff's Memorandum in Support states in part:
The President and his aides have made it abundantly clear that they intend to exclude individuals of the Muslim faith, and that this Order—which bans travel only with respect to certain Muslim-majority countries—is part of that plan....  Sections 5(b) and 5(e) also explicitly direct the government to prioritize religious refugee claims if the “religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country”—a system of religious preference that President Trump told the media was expressly designed to favor Christians....
In the Establishment Clause context, these statements matter. Because Lemon’s first step is concerned with “whether [the] government’s actual purpose is to endorse or disapprove of religion,” courts routinely look to the public declarations of an act’s originator to discern its true aim.
West Hawaii Today reports on the lawsuit.