The Anti-Defamation League today welcomed the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Aziz v. Trump, a challenge to President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on immigration and refugees. The Court issued a preliminary injunction, barring the implementation of portions of the EO in Virginia.

In its decision, the Court held that implementation of the Executive Order would cause irreparable harm to the Commonwealth and its Universities.  In addition, the Court explicitly recognized direct evidence presented by the Commonwealth of anti-Muslim animus through the Order’s singling out of seven majority-Muslim nations for additional scrutiny and statements indicating an intent to discriminate based on religion.  

Doron Ezickson, ADL Washington DC Regional Director issued the following statement: 

“We strongly agree with the Court that implementation of this Executive Order will cause irreparable harm to the Commonwealth of Virginia.   Throughout U.S. history, we have too often faltered when we have let prejudice and fear predominate over reason and compassion, shutting the door on refugees and immigrants.  When we strayed from core principles of equality and religious freedom there have been devastating consequences for which the US has later apologized and looked back in shame.  History will reflect on the Executive Order as a sad point in the American story, but the Court’s decision will shine through as an example of the best of our system: checks and balances at work. We welcome the Court’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction in this case to bar further harm to the Commonwealth of Virginia.” 

ADL filed an amicus brief in the case supporting the Commonwealth of Virginia’s challenge to the Executive Order.  The brief traces America’s history as a nation dedicated to ideals of equality, liberty and justice, and warns against repeating the shameful times in our past when America has turned against its core ideals of equality, liberty, and justice. The law firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC prepared the brief on behalf of ADL and the law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP served as local counsel in Virginia.

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