Attorney General Xavier Becerra Files Amicus Brief in Fourth Circuit Continuing to Challenge Unconstitutional Travel Ban

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Brief States That The Travel Ban Was Motivated By Anti-Muslim Animus, Is Not Supported By A Genuine National Security Rationale, And Would Significantly Harm States 

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined a coalition of 17 states filing an amicus brief urging the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the district court ruling that struck down the travel ban as unconstitutional. The states’ brief explains the reasons that the district court’s decision should not be overturned on appeal, including the overwhelming and unrebutted evidence of anti-Muslim animus, the lack of a genuine national security rationale, and the significant harms that the ban would cause the states, their residents, and their institutions.

The brief details the harms that the ban would impose on states throughout the nation, including negative impacts on state colleges, universities, and medical institutions, reduced tax revenues, damage to state economies, and harm to the medical care of patients. The attorneys general noted that their state constitutions—like the federal Constitution—prohibit government officials from preferring one religion over another or punishing someone on account of religious beliefs, and that the ban undermines that important constitutional principle.

“Let me be clear – the Administration’s travel ban is unconstitutional, and I am committed to fighting it every step of the way,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The uniqueness of America is that everyone wants to experience its greatness, to study in our universities, to be part of our cutting edge research, to visit our national treasures. This travel ban is not about our national security. This travel ban is about targeting people based on their religion. It is my duty to stand up against discrimination, and I am proud to be part of the coalition fighting against the travel ban.”

Joining Attorney General Becerra on this brief are the attorneys general of Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Attorney General Becerra was also part of a 17 state coalition urging the Fourth Circuit to reject the Trump Administration’s request to keep the ban in effect during the appeal. In urging the Court to continue the current injunction against the ban, the states made it clear that the Trump administration is unlikely to win their appeal; the public interest strongly favors a continued injunction against the stay; the Trump administration has not demonstrated the required “irreparable harm” that would entitle it to a stay; and States and their residents will face significant harm if the ban goes into effect.

A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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