The State of Hawaii v. Trump
IRLI filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this federal lawsuit brought by the State of Hawaii to challenge as unlawful President Trump’s new Executive Order (EO) temporarily freezing the issuance of visas to certain previously designated terror-risk nations. The President signed the EO on March 6th, which is scheduled to take effect on March 16th. In the case of State of Hawaii v. Trump, the State is seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the EO’s implementation. A hearing on the State’s request is scheduled for March 15. Hawaii alleges that the new EO violates, among other things, the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause by disfavoring Islam, the Equal Protection Clause by discriminating on the basis of religion and/or national origin, nationality, or alienage, and the Due Process Clause by restricting travel and depriving liberty interests without a hearing. Also joining Hawaii in the lawsuit is Ismail Elshikh, Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, who alleges that the EO inflicts injury on Muslims in Hawaii, including his family and members of his Mosque. In its brief, IRLI urged the court to deny the plaintiffs’ request for a TRO. IRLI showed the court that the plaintiffs not only grossly misunderstand immigration law, but their complaint is based in deep historical illiteracy and a serious disrespect for the sovereignty of the American nation. IRLI called the court’s attention to at least seven distinct provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that authorize the President to implement the EO. Unsurprisingly, Hawaii’s new complaint fails to deal with these provisions, mentioning one such provision only once and in a cursory fashion.