IRAP v. Trump

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Today, our firm filed its third brief in support of President Trump’s effort to impose immigration controls.  Our brief supported President Trump’s effort to secure our borders against entry by those coming from select countries where their background cannot be checked.  This brief was filed in the Fourth Circuit — with respect to the second Trump Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017.

Our first two briefs were filed in the Ninth Circuit — one on February 6, 2017 and one on February 16, 2017, with respect to the first Trump Executive Order issued on January 27, 2017.

Our brief exposed the weaknesses in the Ninth Circuit and Eastern District of Virginia cases on which the court relied.  Also, the Plaintiffs in the Maryland litigation had argued that the second Executive Order violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.  As our brief explained, Establishment Clause claims involve cases where the government has acted to favor a particular religion.  Here, however, the Plaintiffs alleged the government had acted to disfavor their religion — a Free Exercise claim.  By trying to disguise their Free Exercise claim with an Establishment Clause mask, the Plaintiffs attempted to avoid the much more stringent showing required to prove a Free Exercise claim.  We challenged the district court’s second guessing of the President on the reason the Executive Order was issued.  Lastly, we argued that its suit should not have been filed against the President, but only against subordinate officers.

Link to brief