Saturday, February 04, 2017

Washington Federal District Court Issues TRO Against Travel Ban; Appeal Filed-- Here Are Links To Primary Sources [UPDATED]

As widely reported, a Washington federal district court yesterday issued a nation-wide temporary restraining order against key portions of President Trump's Executive Order that temporarily banned entry of individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries and restricted entry of refugees, particularly those from Syria. (See prior posting.) The temporary restraining order (full text) in State of Washington v. Trump, (WD WA, Feb. 3, 2017), does not set out which of plaintiffs' arguments were persuasive to the court.  Those arguments, as set out in the complaint (full text), include establishment clause, due process and equal protection claims as well as statutory claims. Washington's Attorney General has provided links to all documents in the case. The court has posted a video of the full oral arguments and judge's ruling in the case.  Americans United filed an amicus brief (full text) with the district court setting out at length the Establishment Clause arguments. As reported by The Hill, this evening the Justice Department filed a notice of appeal (full text) in the case with the 9th Circuit. According to CNN, focusing on the court's designation of the motions panel for February:
The three judges who will likely hear the appeal -- assuming no one has to step aside over any conflicts -- are: Judge William Canby, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter; Richard Clifton, who was appointed by Bush; and Michelle Friedland, a President Barack Obama appointee.
UPDATE: On Saturday night (2/4) the 9th Circuit denied an immediate stay of the district court opinion pending briefing by Monday on the emergency motion. (Full text of 9th Circuit's order). The order was issued by Judges Canby and Friedland.

UPDATE2: Also on Feb. 3, a Massachusetts federal district court refused to renew a temporary restraining order that had prevented detention and/or removal of individuals with approved refugee applications who would be legally admitted to the United States in absence of President Trump's Executive Order. The original TRO expired Feb. 5.  The court in Louhghalam v. Trump, (D MA, Feb. 3, 2017) held that rational basis review applies to equal protection challenges to federal government categorizations with respect to non-resident aliens.  It held that plaintiffs raising establishment clause objections lacked standing to do so.  It added:
Moreover, the language in Section 5 of the EO is neutral with respect to religion. Plaintiffs submit in their amended complaint that Section 5 favors Muslims over Christians, in violation of the Establishment Clause. The provisions of Section 5, however, could be invoked to give preferred refugee status to a Muslim individual in a country that is predominately Christian. Nothing in Section 5 compels a finding that Christians are preferred to any other group.
ACLU has links to all the pleadings in the Louhghalam case.