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News Release

For Immediate Release
May 25, 2017

                                                    For More Information, Contact:
                                                    Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
                                          , 202-775-9555

NAPABA Applauds Fourth Circuit Decision Upholding Block on Revised Muslim Ban

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s 10-3 en banc ruling maintaining a lower court’s block on President Trump’s March 6, 2017, revised executive order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

In March 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the District of Maryland issued a preliminary injunction on the travel restrictions in this lawsuit, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, which was brought by individuals — including U.S. citizens — and organizations impacted by the executive order. Today’s 10-3 Fourth Circuit opinion, written by Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, affirmed the plaintiffs’ right to challenge the executive order and upheld their claims under the Establishment Clause.

On March 19, NAPABA filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, supported by 43 NAPABA affiliates, describing the history of the statutory exclusion of Asians and Pacific Islanders under early U.S. immigration law — including the first federal law to ban a group of people from entering the country on the basis of race — prior to the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which outlawed nationality-based discrimination. NAPABA argued that President Trump’s revised order, with its anti-Muslim underpinnings, violates this unambiguous prohibition on discrimination established by Congress.

The court agreed with the plaintiffs’ assertion that religious animus motivated the revised order. The court found the government’s asserted national security interest to be a “secondary justification,” noting strongly that order “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance.”

NAPABA awaits the pending ruling in the parallel Ninth Circuit case, State of Hawaii v. Trump, and will continue to work to ensure the executive order is permanently struck down by the courts.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

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