Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Order available here: Preliminary Injunction Order
Memorandum opinion available here: Preliminary Injunction Memorandum Opinion
FEDERAL COURT FINDS THAT TRUMP BAN LIKELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ISSUES NATION'S FIRST PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
~ Judge finds AG Herring likely to succeed in claim that ban unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims ~
RICHMOND(February 13, 2017)--Tonight Judge Leonie Brinkema found that President Donald Trump's January 27 Executive Order is actually the Muslim ban that he promised as a candidate, and therefore the Commonwealth is likely to prevail on its claim that the order discriminates against Muslims in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Because the Commonwealth is likely to be successful in its claim, the judge granted Attorney General Mark R. Herring's motion for the nation's first preliminary injunction to protect Virginia residents and the Commonwealth itself from the harm caused by the ban.
In finding that the Commonwealth is likely to prevail on its claim that the order violates the First Amendment, Judge Brinkema wrote:
"The Commonwealth has produced unrebutted evidence supporting its position that it is likely to succeed on an Establishment Clause claim. The "Muslim ban" was a centerpiece of the president's campaign for months, and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this Memorandum Opinion is being entered."
Attorney General Herring issued the following statement on the nation's first preliminary injunction:
"I saw this unlawful, unconstitutional, and un-American ban for exactly what it is and I'm glad the Court has, too. We presented a mountain of evidence showing this was the 'Muslim ban' that President Trump promised as a candidate, while his administration failed to refute one shred of our evidence or provide any of its own to support its claims. The overwhelming evidence shows that this ban was conceived in religious bigotry and is actually making Americans and our armed forces less safe at home and abroad. This preliminary injunction will protect Virginians while our case is pending, and the opinion explaining it lays out in stunning detail the extent to which the Court finds this order to likely violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."
In light of the existing temporary restraining order in the case pending in Washington/9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Brinkema's preliminary injunction is narrowly tailored to address Virginia's harms and currently applies only to affected Virginia residents. Under this preliminary injunction, the Trump administration is barred until a trial from enforcing its ban against any Virginia green card holder or Virginia workers or students who were lawfully in the United States when the Executive Order went into effect:
ENJOINED from enforcing § 3(c) of Executive Order 13,769 against any person who has a Virginia residence or is employed by or attends an educational institution administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and who, as of 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, January 27,2017, was lawfully admitted for permanent residency in the United States, held an immigrant visa that would entitle the bearer to be lawfully admitted for permanent residency upon admission to the United States, held a valid student visa (or accompanying family or spousal visa), or held a valid work visa (or accompanying family or spousal visa);
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