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Travel Ban Case to Go Forward

Paul, Weiss secured a major victory on behalf of four pro bono clients challenging the constitutionality of President Trump’s travel ban order when a Maryland federal court judge denied the government’s motion to dismiss in the two-year-old case.

The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in College Park, Md., means that plaintiffs may now proceed with discovery on their claim that the president’s third travel ban order, known as Presidential Proclamation No. 9645, was motivated by an illegitimate hostility to Muslims.

Plaintiffs in a parallel 2017 challenge in Hawaii voluntarily dismissed their case after the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s preliminary injunction of the Travel Ban last year, effectively wiping out our clients’ parallel preliminary injunction challenge and allowing the policy to take effect. However, the three cases challenging the order in the Fourth Circuit were remanded to the District of Maryland, and the plaintiffs in those cases, including four individuals represented by Paul, Weiss, the Brennan Center for Justice and the Council on Islamic-American Relations, filed an amended complaint asserting that the proclamation is intended to, and has the effect of, discriminating against residents and non-residents of the Islamic faith, and that the proclamation’s waiver process is illusory and simply conceals its discriminatory purpose.

The government once again moved to dismiss based on the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Trump v. Hawaii. In his 46-page decision, Judge Chuang denied the motion as to our constitutional challenges to the proclamation, accepting our argument that the Supreme Court’s decision was made in the context of a preliminary injunction, and that we should be permitted to develop the record and have an opportunity to prove that the proclamation is unconstitutional under the standard set forth by the Supreme Court. Paul, Weiss will represent the plaintiffs as we continue to challenge the proclamation.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partners Robert Atkins, Charles Davidow, Liza Velazquez, Andrew Ehrlich, Jeffrey Recher, counsel Steven Herzog and associates Meredith Arfa, Kathrine Kelly Fell, Kimberly Francis, Robert Rankin and Sarah Prostko.

May 2, 2019

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