On March 30, 2018, Proskauer filed an amicus brief on behalf of New York University in the United States Supreme Court. The brief was filed in support of the State of Hawaii and its challenge to Proclamation 9645, the most recent version of the Trump Administration’s “travel ban.” The Proclamation at issue in the litigation sets significant restrictions on immigration from specified countries, most of which have a large Muslim-majority population. Both the Fourth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit have upheld injunctions preventing the Proclamation from fully taking effect.
NYU is uniquely positioned to aid the Supreme Court’s decision in this important case. This is due to its location in the heart of New York City and its status as the university with more international students than any other in the United States. The brief first discussed the importance of diversity in higher education, noting the many contributions that immigrants make to the NYU community. In addition to significant academic benefits, increased diversity benefits NYU by exposing students and faculty to a broad range of experiences and viewpoints, creating a more inclusive university community. When that diversity is threatened, it impacts the lives of prospective students who are unable to come to the United States. Additionally, it deprives current students and faculty of meaningful benefits whose importance have been explicitly recognized by the Supreme Court.
NYU’s brief also argues that the Proclamation violates both the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause. The Proclamation violates the INA because its implementation exceeds the power granted to the Executive Branch by Congress, and runs afoul of prohibitions on discrimination based on national origin. Its constitutional violations stem from the Administration’s targeting of, and impact on Muslim-majority countries, as evidenced by President Trump’s statements on the topic which began during the 2016 campaign.
Proskauer has been involved in challenges to the “travel ban” since its first iteration was released in January 2017. The Firm has also submitted similar amicus briefs for NYU in related cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, as well as a previous filing in the Supreme Court. Proskauer partner Steve Obus led the team which included associates Seth Fiur, Tiffany Woo and Om Alladi.