JACL Submits Amicus Brief To SCOTUS In Opposition To Muslim Travel Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 19, 2017

Press Release

Contact: Jeffrey Moy, Vice President for Public Affairs, jmoy@jacl.org
David Inoue, Executive Director, dinoue@jacl.org

Over 70 years ago, the Japanese American Citizens League was compelled to submit amicus curiae briefs in the Hirabayashi, Yasui, and Korematsu cases to defend Japanese Americans convicted of violating orders that led to the imprisonment of almost 120,000 innocent people. Today, we once again submit a brief in support of the respondents’ plaintiffs in the case of Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Program and Trump v. the State of Hawaii, more commonly known as the Travel Ban. The brief may be downloaded here.

We join the Hirabayashi, Yasui, and Korematsu families, in drawing attention to the historical parallels between the Trump travel ban and what was done to the Japanese American community during World War II. This serves as an opportunity for the court to learn from its past error in judgment to ensure the preservation of the civil rights of a minority group in the face of infringement from the executive branch.

In the JACL’s original amicus brief in the Hirabayashi case, we noted that we were speaking “for all the minority racial groups in this country who may be the next victims of similar discrimination resulting from war or other prejudices and hysterias, and for the preservation of civil rights for all.” JACL National President, Gary Mayeda notes that “Those next victims are today’s Muslim community and today we share our story so that it does not become their story.”

In the wake of September 11, this country made a clear determination that it would not fall into the same trap of scapegoating the Muslim community. President George W. Bush noted that the country could not do to today’s Muslims what was done to Bush’s Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta during World War II. Sadly, our government’s action shows it has forgotten the example of Secretary Mineta as one among over 120,000 Japanese Americans wrongfully imprisoned.

JACL was represented in preparation of the brief by a team led by former U.S. Solicitor General and Duke Law professor Walter Dellinger.

George T. Frampton, Jr., co-counsel for JACL, said: “The resonance between the two cases should caution the Court to apply careful and meaningful scrutiny to whether there is really any national security basis for the Travel Ban, or whether it in fact exceeds the President’s authority.”

JACL and legal co-counsel will conduct a conference call for its members and the public to discuss the historical context of the Japanese American story and the legal arguments of the brief on Tuesday, September 26 at 4:00pm EDT. To register for the call and receive call information which will be sent prior to the call, please RSVP here.

Other counsel on the team included Joseph Roth of the Osborn Maledon firm in Phoenix, AZ, and Thomas Frampton, a Climenko Fellow at Harvard Law School.

 

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