AG Miller Joins 15-State Brief Opposing Trump’s Muslim Ban

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Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, announced on his office’s website Monday that he has joined attorneys general from 14 other states and Washington DC to file an amicus curiae brief (embedded below) in support of a lawsuit against President Trump’s hastily signed Muslim ban executive order.

The initial lawsuit was filed at the end of January by Washington state AG Bob Ferguson and led to a temporary restraining order last Friday from a US district judge that halted Trump’s travel ban for seven Muslim-majority countries. The ban has led to worldwide outrage and protests and, before it was blocked, affected travel for a number of people who’d been living in Iowa, including at least three connected to Iowa State University. Although Trump has claimed his order does not specifically target Muslims, news reports have indicated otherwise, and the president’s top advisers have close associations with white nationalists and Islamophobic fringe figures.

“The president has broad authority to oversee our nation’s immigration policies and procedures, but not even the president has authority to circumvent our Constitution’s fundamental guarantees of equal protection, religious freedom and due process,” Miller said in the statement posted to the AG’s website. In addition to arguing that the ban is unconstitutional, the brief argues Trump’s order harms the states’ educational and medical institutions and costs them tax revenues from students and visitors.

Along with Iowa and DC, the other 14 states to file the brief in support of the suit are California, Connecticut, Delware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and New York, whose AG Eric Schneiderman has received recent media attention as an emerging “leader of the Trump resistance.”

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, supports Trump’s Muslim ban.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.