17 AGs File Supreme Court Brief Opposing Trump Immigration Ban

Shortly after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Trump's "revised" travel ban in a largely moot decision as the White House already had appealed to the Supreme Court, moments ago 17 Attorneys General led by NY AG Eric Schneiderman, announced they are filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in opposition to Trump's "Muslim Ban." Attorneys General also filed suit against President Trump’s first and second immigration bans. The AGs also argue that "this is not the right time for the Supreme Court to hear this case", an attempt to squash Trump's appeal before it is even heard.

“Since Day One, Attorneys General have not hesitated to fight back against President Trump’s unlawful and unconstitutional executive orders, bringing legal action in courts around the country to successfully stop both the first and second bans,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “As we’ve argued, President Trump’s second executive order is just a Muslim Ban by another name – and the courts have agreed.

In a subsequent tweet, Schneiderman said "I became a lawyer to fight for our Constitution and our country. I’m going to keep fighting for you, every day and every way we can."

In the press released filed by the NY AG, Schneiderman explains that the case – IRAP v. Trump – was originally brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). In March, a federal court in Maryland blocked key parts of President Trump’s immigration ban; last month, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension of the ban.

More from the press release:

In the first brief, authored by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and joined by a total of 17 states, the Attorneys General oppose the Trump administration’s petition for certiorari, arguing that the preliminary injunction against the immigration ban should be maintained and the Supreme Court should not review the decision at this point. Click here to read the brief opposing cert.


In a second brief, authored by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, and also joined by a total of 17 states, the Attorneys General oppose the Trump administration’s request to allow the ban to go into effect pending appeal. Click here to read the brief opposing stay.


The two briefs were filed by a total of 17 Attorneys General, including New York, Virginia, Maryland, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

In opposing the Trump administration’s petition for certiorari and stay request, the states explain that allowing the ban to take effect would harm their people, institutions, and economies, including by inhibiting the free exchange of information, ideas, and talent between the six designated countries and the amici states, including at the states’ many educa­tional institutions; disrupting the provision of medical care at the states’ hospitals; harming the life sciences, technology, health care, finance, and tourism indus­tries, as well as innumerable other small and large businesses throughout the states; inflicting economic damage on the states themselves through both increased costs and immediately diminished tax revenues; and hindering the states from effectuating the policies of religious tolerance and nondiscrimination enshrined in our laws and our state constitutions. 

The AGs also argue that this is not the right time for the Supreme Court to hear this case, because the travel ban calls for its own imminent modification, making review at this juncture premature.

Finally, the AGs plea that "the Court should follow its usual practice of awaiting a fully-developed record that is better suited to Supreme Court review."

Which way SCOUT responds to this pleading will be very indicative of how it may ultimately rule on Trump's appeal of his Travel ban. A denial to Schneiderman et al. would suggest that the Supreme Court, now with Trump appointee Gorsuch on the bench, will be favorably inclined to the Trump request. Alternatively, an approval of the request would lead to further turmoil between the Executive and the Judicial branches, leaving the White House with no options but to drop the appeal altogether.

Of course, even if SCOTUS does not move as requested, the showdown between the Trump administration and the US Appeals Courts will be the most closely watched Supreme Court decision since the ruling that Obamacare is a "tax", if not far greater.