International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump

Filing 53

MOTION by American Center for Law and Justice (Amicus Curiae) to file amicus curiae brief (FRAP 29(e)) with consent of all parties on appeal within time allowed by FRAP 29(e).. Date and method of service: 03/31/2017 ecf. [1000053279] [17-1351] Edward White

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No. 17-1351 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE ASSISTANCE PROJECT, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, et al., Defendants-Appellants. On Appeal from Entry of Preliminary Injunction United States District Court for the District of Maryland Case No. 17-cv-361-TDC, Hon. Theodore D. Chuang BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE, THE AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE, SUPPORTING DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS’ POSITION ON APPEAL AND URGING THAT THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION BE VACATED. JAY ALAN SEKULOW* Counsel of Record STUART J. ROTH* COLBY M. MAY* ANDREW J. EKONOMOU** JORDAN SEKULOW** CRAIG L. PARSHALL* MATTHEW R. CLARK** BENJAMIN P. SISNEY* AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 201 Maryland Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 Tel.: 202-546-8890 Email: sekulow@aclj.org * Admitted to Fourth Circuit Bar ** Not admitted in this jurisdiction EDWARD L. WHITE III* ERIK M. ZIMMERMAN** AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 3001 Plymouth Road, Suite 203 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105 Tel.: 734-680-8007 Email: ewhite@aclj.org FRANCIS J. MANION* GEOFFREY R. SURTEES** AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 6375 New Hope Road New Hope, Kentucky 40052 Tel.: 502-549-7020 Email: fmanion@aclj.org Counsel for amicus curiae CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT Pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 29(a)(4)(A) and Circuit Rule 26.1, the amicus curiae, the American Center for Law and Justice (“ACLJ”), makes the following disclosures: 1. The ACLJ is a non-profit organization that has no parent corporation. 2. No publicly held corporation or other publicly held entity owns any portion of the ACLJ. 3. The ACLJ is unaware of any publicly held corporation or other publicly held entity that has a direct financial interest in the outcome of this litigation. 4. This case does not arise out of a bankruptcy proceeding. Dated: March 31, 2017 Respectfully submitted, /s/ Edward L. White III EDWARD L. WHITE III* AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 3001 Plymouth Road, Suite 203 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105 Telephone: (734) 680-8007 Facsimile: (734) 680-8006 Email: ewhite@aclj.org * Admitted to Fourth Circuit Bar Counsel for amicus curiae i TABLE OF CONTENTS CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT ......................................................... i TABLE OF AUTHORITIES ................................................................................... iii CERTIFICATION PURSUANT TO FED. R. APP. P. 29(A)(4)(E) ........................1 STATEMENT OF INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE.............................................1 ARGUMENT .............................................................................................................2 I. Supreme Court precedent dictates that the challenged Executive Order be reviewed under the deferential standards applicable to the immigration policymaking and enforcement decisions of the political branches, which the Executive Order satisfies. ..........................................................................................2 A. Judicial review of the immigration-related actions of the political branches is deferential.........................................................................................................3 B. The Executive Order is constitutional under the Supreme Court’s deferential standards applicable to constitutional challenges to the political branches’ immigration-related actions. ...............................................................4 II. The Executive Order is constitutional even under a traditional Establishment Clause analysis. ........................................................................................................10 CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................17 CERTIFICATION PURSUANT TO FED. R. APP. P. 29 AND 32 .......................18 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE ................................................................................19 ii TABLE OF AUTHORITIES CASES ACLU of Ky. v. Rowan Cnty., 513 F. Supp. 2d 889 (E.D. Ky. 2007) .......................................................... 11, 15 ACLU v. Schundler, 168 F.3d 92 (3d Cir. 1999) .................................................................................12 Aziz v. Trump, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20889 (E.D. Va. 2017) .................................................11 Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990) ............................................................................................14 Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589 (1988) ............................................................................................16 Brown v. Gilmore, 258 F.3d 265, 276 (4th Cir. 2001) ............................................................... 10, 14 Cardenas v. United States, 826 F.3d 1164 (9th Cir. 2016) ..............................................................................3 Ehlers-Renzi v. Connelly Sch. of the Holy Child, Inc. 224 F.3d 283 (4th Cir. 2000) ..............................................................................14 FEC v. Wisc. Right to Life, Inc., 551 U.S. 449 (2007) ..............................................................................................1 Felix v. City of Bloomfield, 841 F.3d 848 (10th Cir. 2016) ............................................................................11 Fiallo v. Bell, 430 U.S. 787 (1977) ...................................................................................... 3, 5-6 Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580 (1952) ..............................................................................................3 iii Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963) ..............................................................................................3 Kerry v. Din, 135 S. Ct. 2128 (2015) ..........................................................................................5 Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972) ..........................................................................................4, 6 Lambeth v. Bd. of Comm'rs, 407 F.3d 266 (4th Cir. 2005) ..............................................................................16 Landon v. Plasencia, 459 U.S. 21 (1982) ................................................................................................3 Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) ............................................................................................10 Louhghalam v. Trump, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15531 (D. Mass. 2017) .................................................11 Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984) ............................................................................................16 McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003) ................................................................................................1 McCreary Cnty. v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844 (2005) ...................................................................................... 11-14 Moss v. Spartanburg Cnty. Sch. Dist., 683 F.3d 599, 608 (4th Cir. 2012) ...........................................................................10 Rajah v. Mukasey, 544 F.3d 427 (2d Cir. 2008) .................................................................................8 Republican Party of Minn. v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002) ............................................................................................13 iv Roark v. S. Iron R-1 Sch. Dist., 573 F.3d 556 (8th Cir. 2009) ..............................................................................12 Sarsour v. Trump, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43596 (E.D. Va. 2017) .................................... 11, 12, 16 United States v. Texas, 136 S. Ct. 2271 (2016) ..........................................................................................1 Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005) ............................................................................................10 Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985) ..............................................................................................14 Washington v. Trump, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2369 (9th Cir. 2017) ...................................................1, 6 Washington v. Trump, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4572 (9th Cir. 2017) ...................................................2, 6 Zivotofsky ex rel. Zivotofsky v. Kerry, 135 S. Ct. 2076 (2015) ..........................................................................................4 STATUTES AND RULES 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) ......................................................................................................4 Circuit Rule 26.1 ........................................................................................................ i Fed. R. App. P. 29 ............................................................................................ i, 1, 18 Fed. R. App. P. 32 ....................................................................................................18 v OTHER AUTHORITIES Dep’t of Homeland Security, Press Release, United States Begins Implementation of Changes to the Visa Waiver Program (Jan. 21, 2016), available at https://preview.dhs.gov/news/2016/01/21/unitedstates-begins-implementation-changes-visa-waiver-program ..............................8 DHS Announces Further Travel Restrictions for the Visa Waiver Program, Press Release, (Feb. 18, 2016), available at https://preview.dhs.gov/news/2016/02/18/ dhs-announces-further-travel-restrictions-visa-waiver-program..........................8 U.S. Dep’t of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2015, (June 2, 2016), available at https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/258249.pdf ................................8 vi CERTIFICATION PURSUANT TO FED. R. APP. P. 29(A)(4)(E) Pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 29(a)(4)(E), the American Center for Law and Justice affirms that no counsel for a party authored this brief in whole or in part and that no person other than the amicus, its members, or its counsel made any monetary contributions intended to fund the preparation or submission of this brief. STATEMENT OF INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE The American Center for Law and Justice (“ACLJ”) is an organization dedicated to the defense of constitutional liberties secured by law. Counsel for the ACLJ have presented oral argument, represented parties, and submitted amicus briefs before the Supreme Court of the United States, this Court, and other courts around the country in cases concerning the First Amendment and immigration law. See, e.g., FEC v. Wisc. Right to Life, 551 U.S. 449 (2007); McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003); United States v. Texas, 136 S. Ct. 2271 (2016); and Washington v. Trump, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2369 (9th Cir. 2017). The ACLJ has actively defended, through advocacy and litigation, immigration policies that protect American citizens. This brief is supported by members of the ACLJ’s Committee to Defend Our National Security from Terror, which represents more than 205,000 Americans who have stood in support of the President's Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. 1 The ACLJ submits this amicus curiae brief to support DefendantsAppellants’ position on appeal and to urge this Court to vacate the preliminary injunction. Jt. App. at 770, 813. The parties consented to the filing of this amicus curiae brief. ARGUMENT I. Supreme Court precedent dictates that the challenged Executive Order be reviewed under the deferential standards applicable to the immigration policymaking and enforcement decisions of the political branches, which the Executive Order satisfies. The district court accepted Plaintiffs’ invitation to treat this case as if it were a run-of-the-mill Establishment Clause case. It is not. The cases that the court primarily relied upon, which green-lighted a detailed inquiry into the primary purpose of the government’s actions, involved factual contexts such as the public display of the Ten Commandments. Jt. App. at 798-802. In stark contrast, this case involves the special context of an executive order (“EO”) concerning the entry into the United States of refugees and nationals of six countries of particular concern, enacted pursuant to the President’s constitutional and statutory authority. As discussed herein, when the Supreme Court has considered constitutional challenges to immigration-related actions of this sort, it has declined to subject those actions to the same level of scrutiny applied to non-immigration-related actions, choosing instead to take a considerably more deferential approach. See also Washington v. Trump, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4572, at *14 n.6 (9th Cir. 2017) (Bybee, J., 2 dissenting from the denial of reconsideration en banc) (the panel’s “unreasoned assumption that courts should simply plop Establishment Clause cases from the domestic context over to the foreign affairs context ignores the realities of our world”). The EO is valid under this standard. A. Judicial review of the immigration-related actions of the political branches is deferential. “The Supreme Court has ‘long recognized the power to expel or exclude aliens as a fundamental sovereign attribute exercised by the Government’s political departments largely immune from judicial control.’” Cardenas v. United States, 826 F.3d 1164, 1169 (9th Cir. 2016) (quoting Fiallo v. Bell, 430 U.S. 787, 792 (1977)). Indeed, “an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application, for the power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign prerogative.” Landon v. Plasencia, 459 U.S. 21, 32 (1982). Moreover, the Constitution “is not a suicide pact,” Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144, 160 (1963), and protecting national security is the government’s first responsibility. The President has broad national security powers, which may be exercised through immigration restrictions. Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580, 588-89 (1952). The district court’s decision also undercuts the considered judgment of Congress that 3 [w]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f). Where, as here, a President’s action is authorized by Congress, “his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate.” Zivotofsky ex rel. Zivotofsky v. Kerry, 135 S. Ct. 2076, 2084 (2015) (citation omitted). The EO falls squarely within the President’s constitutional and statutory authority. B. The Executive Order is constitutional under the Supreme Court’s deferential standards applicable to constitutional challenges to the political branches’ immigration-related actions. In Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 770 (1972), the Court rejected a First Amendment challenge to the Attorney General’s decision to decline to grant a waiver that would have allowed a Belgian scholar to enter the country on a visa in order to speak to American professors and students. The plaintiffs (American professors) contended that the denial deprived them of their First Amendment right to receive information from him. The Court noted that, although it had previously “referred to a First Amendment right to ‘receive information and ideas,’” the [r]ecognition that First Amendment rights are implicated, however, is not dispositive of our inquiry here. In accord with ancient principles of the international law of nation-states . . . the power to exclude aliens is “inherent in sovereignty, necessary for maintaining normal international relations and 4 defending the country against foreign encroachments and dangers--a power to be exercised exclusively by the political branches of government.” Id. at 765 (citations omitted). The Court concluded by stating that plenary congressional power to make policies and rules for exclusion of aliens has long been firmly established. In the case of an alien excludable under § 212 (a)(28), Congress has delegated conditional exercise of this power to the Executive. We hold that when the Executive exercises this power negatively on the basis of a facially legitimate and bona fide reason, the courts will neither look behind the exercise of that discretion, nor test it by balancing its justification against the First Amendment interests of those who seek personal communication with the applicant. Id. at 769-70; see also Kerry v. Din, 135 S. Ct. 2128, 2139-41 (2015) (Kennedy, J., concurring) (the government’s statement that a visa application was denied due to suspected involvement with terrorist activities “satisf[ied] Mandel’s ‘facially legitimate and bona fide’ standard.”). Similarly, in Fiallo, the Court rejected a challenge to statutory provisions that granted preferred immigration status to most aliens who are the children or parents of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents, except for illegitimate children seeking that status by virtue of their biological fathers, and the fathers themselves. 430 U.S. at 788-90. The Court stated: At the outset, it is important to underscore the limited scope of judicial inquiry into immigration legislation. This Court has repeatedly emphasized that “over no conceivable subject is the legislative power of Congress more complete than it is over” the admission of aliens. . . . [W]e observed recently that in the exercise of its broad power over immigration and naturalization, “Congress regularly makes rules that would be unacceptable if applied to citizens.” Id. at 792 (citations omitted). 5 The Court noted that it had previously “resolved similar challenges to immigration legislation based on other constitutional rights of citizens, and has rejected the suggestion that more searching judicial scrutiny is required.” Id. at 794. The Court stated, “[w]e can see no reason to review the broad congressional policy choice at issue here under a more exacting standard than was applied in Kleindienst v. Mandel, a First Amendment case.” Id. at 795. 1 The Court emphasized that “it is not the judicial role in cases of this sort to probe and test the justifications for the legislative decision.” Id. at 799. The Court concluded that the plaintiffs raised “policy questions entrusted exclusively to the political branches of our Government . . . .” Id. at 798; see also Washington, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2369, at *15-16 (courts “owe substantial deference to the immigration and national security policy determinations of the political branches” when deciding whether such policies are constitutional). 1 Although a panel of the Ninth Circuit recently concluded that the Mandel standard does not apply to “exercises of policymaking authority at the highest levels of the political branches,” Washington, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2369, at *1718, this conclusion is undercut by Fiallo’s reliance upon Mandel in the context of a Congressional statute which, like the EO, is an “exercise[] of policymaking authority at the highest levels of the political branches.” See Washington, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4572, at *17 (Bybee, J.) (“The appropriate test for judging executive and congressional action affecting aliens who are outside our borders and seeking admission is set forth in Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972).”). 6 In sum, the legality of executive orders related to immigration does not turn on a judicial guessing game of what the President’s subjective motives were at the time; rather, Mandel, Fiallo, and other cases dictate that courts should rarely look past the face of such orders. The EO is valid under this standard. It is closely tethered to well-established discretionary powers vested in the Executive Branch by the Constitution and statute. The EO temporarily pauses entry into the United States of refugees under the United States Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) as well as nationals of six unstable and/or terrorism-infested countries of particular concern, which were designated as such by the prior administration, for the legitimate secular purpose of allowing time for needed improvements to the immigration and refugee screening processes. The EO does not single out Muslims for disfavored treatment, as the district court correctly noted. Jt. App. at 775. The countless millions of non-American Muslims who live outside of the six countries of particular concern are not restricted by the EO. Neither does it limit its application to Muslims in the six designated countries; instead, it applies to all citizens of the six enumerated countries irrespective of their faith. Although it is well-established that litigants and courts should not secondguess the wisdom of, or evidentiary support for, the political branches’ decisionmaking concerning immigration, the district court cited with approval Plaintiffs’ 7 assertion that the EO’s stated national security reasons are pretextual. Jt. App. at 803-806. There is, however, ample justification for the determination of multiple administrations that the six designated countries pose a particular risk to American national security. 2 Plaintiffs’ objection to the EO is a policy dispute that should be resolved by the political branches. The EO is similar in principle to the National Security Entry Exit Registration System (“NSEERS”) implemented after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which was upheld by numerous federal courts. Rajah v. Mukasey, 544 F.3d 427, 438-39 (2d Cir. 2008) (citing cases). Under this system, the Attorney General imposed special requirements upon foreign nationals present in the United States who were from specified countries. The first group of countries designated by the Attorney General included Iran, Libya, Sudan and 2 See, e.g., U.S. Dep’t of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2015, June 2016, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/258249.pdf, at pp. 11-12 (discussing terrorism in Somalia), pp. 165-66 (describing Syria, Libya, and Yemen as primary theaters of terrorist activities), pp. 299-302 (designating Iran, Sudan, and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism); Dep’t of Homeland Security, United States Begins Implementation of Changes to the Visa Waiver Program (Jan. 21, 2016), https://preview.dhs.gov/news/2016/01/21/united-states-beginsimplementation-changes-visa-waiver-program & DHS Announces Further Travel Restrictions for the Visa Waiver Program (Feb. 18, 2016), https://preview.dhs.gov/news/2016/02/18/dhs-announces-further-travelrestrictions-visa-waiver-program (explaining that most nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries who are also nationals of Iran, Sudan, or Syria, or who visited those countries or Libya, Somalia, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011, are ineligible to be admitted to the U.S. under the Program). 8 Syria, and a total of twenty-four Muslim majority countries and North Korea were eventually designated. Id. at 433 n.3. In one illustrative case, the Second Circuit rejected arguments that are strikingly similar to the arguments accepted by the district court here: There was a rational national security basis for the Program. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 were facilitated by the lax enforcement of immigration laws. . . . The Program was [rationally] designed to monitor more closely aliens from certain countries selected on the basis of national security criteria. . . . To be sure, the Program did select countries that were, with the exception of North Korea, predominantly Muslim. . . . However, one major threat of terrorist attacks comes from radical Islamic groups. The September 11 attacks were facilitated by violations of immigration laws by aliens from predominantly Muslim nations. The Program was clearly tailored to those facts. . . . Muslims from non-specified countries were not subject to registration. Aliens from the designated countries who were qualified to be permanent residents in the United States were exempted whether or not they were Muslims. The program did not target only Muslims: non-Muslims from the designated countries were subject to registration. There is therefore no basis for petitioners’ claim. Id. at 438-49 (emphasis added). Similarly, the EO at issue here is constitutional.3 3 The mere fact that the six countries of particular concern designated by the EO happen to have Muslim majority populations is not evidence of religious animus. Under this reasoning, the benefits that the government provides to military veterans would be rendered constitutionally suspect by the mere fact that approximately 85% of them happen to be male, even though there are many legitimate reasons for providing such benefits unrelated to any gender-based bias. 9 II. The Executive Order is constitutional even under a traditional Establishment Clause analysis. Justice Breyer’s controlling opinion in Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005), observed that, “[w]here the Establishment Clause is at issue, tests designed to measure ‘neutrality’ alone are insufficient.” Id. at 699 (Breyer, J., concurring). Justice Breyer stated that, in “difficult borderline cases . . . I see no test-related substitute for the exercise of legal judgment . . . [which] must reflect and remain faithful to the underlying purposes of the [Religion] Clauses . . . .” Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 700. In this case, “the exercise of legal judgment” must take into account the deferential nature of judicial review of immigration-related actions such as the EO. Nevertheless, the EO is constitutional even under non-immigration-related Establishment Clause jurisprudence. The EO satisfies the “purpose prong” of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 612-13 (1971), which asks whether the challenged government action is “driven in part by a secular purpose.” Moss v. Spartanburg Cnty. Sch. Dist., 683 F.3d 599, 608 (4th Cir. 2012) (emphasis in original). As discussed previously, the EO’s predominant purpose is protecting national security. See Brown v. Gilmore, 258 F.3d 265, 276 (4th Cir. 2001) (explaining that “the first prong of Lemon is a fairly low hurdle so that a statute fails on this account when there is no evidence of a legitimate, secular purpose”) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted) (emphasis in original). 10 Similarly, the fact that enforcement of the now-repealed order—which was substantively different from the present EO in numerous ways—was preliminarily enjoined on an expedited basis does not support the district court’s decision here.4 Under the analysis of the district court’s decision, any hypothetical future immigration-related orders issued by the current President will be irredeemably tainted by the alleged subjective, predominantly anti-Muslim intent of the President and his surrogates, which runs contrary to Supreme Court’s admonition in McCreary County that the government’s “past actions” do not “forever taint any effort . . . to deal with the subject matter.” McCreary Cnty. v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 874 (2005); see also Felix v. City of Bloomfield, 841 F.3d 848, 863 (10th Cir. 2016); ACLU of Ky. v. Rowan Cnty., 513 F. Supp. 2d 889, 897 (E.D. Ky. 2007) (holding that, under McCreary County, a government actor that purportedly had “an overtly religious purpose in the past, may ‘get it right’ at some point in the future, based on genuine changes in constitutionally significant conditions”); 4 Although a Virginia district court issued a preliminary injunction against the now-repealed order on Establishment Clause grounds, Aziz v. Trump, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20889 (E.D. Va. 2017), a Massachusetts district court concluded that the same order did not discriminate against Muslims. Louhghalam v. Trump, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15531, at *13-14 (D. Mass. 2017). Moreover, in contrast to the district court here, a district court in the Eastern District of Virginia recently denied a motion for a preliminary injunction, which included an Establishment Clause claim, brought against the current executive order and rejected many of the same arguments brought by Plaintiffs in the instant action. Sarsour v. Trump, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43596 (E.D. Va. 2017). 11 ACLU v. Schundler, 168 F.3d 92, 105 (3d Cir. 1999) (Alito, J.) (“The mere fact that Jersey City’s first display was held to violate the Establishment Clause is plainly insufficient to show that the second display lacked ‘a secular legislative purpose,’ or that it was ‘intended to convey a message of endorsement or disapproval of religion.’”) (citations omitted); Roark v. S. Iron R-1 Sch. Dist., 573 F.3d 556 (8th Cir. 2009) (“Another reason we reject the district court’s Lemon analysis is that its emphasis on past practice and the views of individual Board members would preclude the District from ever creating a limited public forum in which religious materials may be distributed in a constitutionally neutral manner. . . . [S]chool officials must remain free to experiment in good faith with new policies . . . .”). Here, the many substantive differences between the prior order and the existing EO constitute “genuine changes in constitutionally significant conditions” that cured any actual or perceived Establishment Clause deficiencies. See McCreary Cnty., 545 U.S. at 874; Sarsour, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43596, at *33 (“[T]he substantive revisions reflected in EO-2 [the executive order at issue in the instant appeal] have reduced the probative value of the President’s statements to the point that it is no longer likely that Plaintiffs can succeed on their claim that the predominant purpose of EO-2 is to discriminate against Muslims based on their religion and that EO-2 is a pretext or a sham for that purpose.”) 12 Moreover, the district court’s decision to sidestep the EO’s obvious secular purposes by focusing on miscellaneous comments made by then-candidate Trump, or one of his advisors, is flawed for at least three reasons. First, the Supreme Court has stated that the primary purpose inquiry concerning statutes may include consideration of the “plain meaning of the statute’s words, enlightened by their context and the contemporaneous legislative history [and] the historical context of the statute . . . and the specific sequence of events leading to [its] passage.” McCreary Cnty., 545 U.S. at 862; see also id. (noting that the primary purpose inquiry is limited to consideration of “the ‘text, legislative history, and implementation of the statute,’ or comparable official act”) (citation omitted). The district court relied upon several quotes, made as long ago as 2015, by then-candidate Trump and/or individuals holding some nongovernmental position within his political campaign. Jt. App. at 795-798. No doubt, comments made, or actions taken, by a private citizen while a candidate for public office (or his or her advisors) while on the campaign trail are not “official” government acts, and do not constitute “contemporaneous legislative history.” See McCreary Cnty., 545 U.S. at 862. Indeed, “one would be naive not to recognize that campaign promises are—by long democratic tradition—the least binding form of human commitment.” Republican Party of Minn. v. White, 536 U.S. 765, 780 (2002). 13 Second, the district court’s extensive reliance upon purported evidence of a subjective, personal anti-Muslim bias of the President and some of his advisors is improper because “what is relevant is the legislative purpose of the statute, not the possibly religious motives of the legislators who enacted the law.” Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226, 249 (1990) (plurality op.) (emphasis added). Clearly, the district court engaged in the kind of “judicial psychoanalysis of a drafter’s heart of hearts” that is foreclosed by Supreme Court precedent. McCreary Cnty., 545 U.S. at 862. The EO, on its face, serves secular purposes, and no amount of rehashing of miscellaneous campaign trail commentary can change that. A foray into the malleable arena of legislative history is not a requirement in all Establishment Clause cases; to the contrary, courts “must defer to [the government’s] stated reasons if a ‘plausible secular purpose . . . may be discerned from the face of the statute,’” which is the case here. See Ehlers-Renzi v. Connelly Sch. of the Holy Child, Inc., 224 F.3d 283, 288 (4th Cir. 2000) (noting that the secular purpose hurdle can be “cleared by finding a plausible secular purpose on the face of the regulation”) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted); see also Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 74 (1985) (O’Connor, J., concurring) (inquiry into the government’s purpose should be “deferential and limited”); accord Brown, 258 F.3d at 276. 14 One illustration of the problematic nature of attempting to utilize legislative history to override a policy’s facial neutrality is Plaintiffs’ suggestion, cited with approval by the district court, that a presidential policy advisor’s statement that the EO is designed to accomplish the same basic policy outcome as the now-repealed order, while merely correcting technical issues, constitutes evidence that the existing EO is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Jt. App. at 799-801. Rather than being some sort of smoking gun, however, this comment merely suggests that the existing EO was narrowly crafted to address concerns raised during litigation over the prior order, with the secular goal of protecting national security in mind. Addressing actual or perceived flaws in previous iterations of a law or policy, in order to bolster the likelihood that it will be upheld in litigation, is itself a valid secular purpose. See, e.g., Rowan Cnty., 513 F. Supp. 2d at 904 (in Establishment Clause cases, changing a policy in “an attempt to avoid litigation . . . is an acceptable purpose”). Finally, the mere suggestion of a possible religious or anti-religious motive, mined from past comments of a political candidate or his supporters, and intermixed with various secular purposes, is not enough to doom government action (along with all subsequent attempts to address the same subject matter). “[A]ll that Lemon requires” is that government action have “a secular purpose,” not that its purpose be “exclusively secular,” and a policy is invalid under this test 15 only if it “was motivated wholly by religious considerations.” Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 680-81 & n.6 (1984) (emphasis added); see also Bowen v. Kendrick, 487 U.S. 589, 602 (1988) (“[A] court may invalidate a statute only if it is motivated wholly by an impermissible purpose . . . .”); Lambeth v. Bd. of Comm’rs, 407 F.3d 266, 270 (4th Cir. 2005) (“[W]e will deem the first prong of the Lemon test to be contravened only if [the action] is entirely motivated by a purpose to advance religion.”) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). The EO clearly serves secular purposes and, therefore, it satisfies Lemon’s purpose test. See Sarsour, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43596, at *24-34 (rejecting claim that the current executive order violates the purpose prong of Lemon and noting that the executive order is a facially lawful exercise of the president’s authority and that the stated national security purpose of the executive order is not a pretext for discrimination against Muslims). 16 CONCLUSION The preliminary injunction is untenable in light of Supreme Court jurisprudence. The EO falls well within the President’s broad discretion that is provided by constitutional and statutory authority. The preliminary injunction should be vacated. Jt. App. at 770, 813. Dated: March 31, 2017. Respectfully submitted, /s/ Edward L. White III EDWARD L. WHITE III* ERIK M. ZIMMERMAN** AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 3001 Plymouth Road, Suite 203 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105 Tel.: 734-680-8007 Fax: 734-680-8006 Email: ewhite@aclj.org JAY ALAN SEKULOW* Counsel of Record STUART J. ROTH* COLBY M. MAY* ANDREW J. EKONOMOU** JORDAN SEKULOW** CRAIG L. PARSHALL* MATTHEW R. CLARK** BENJAMIN P. SISNEY* AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 201 Maryland Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 Tel.: 202-546-8890 Fax: 202-546-9309 Email: sekulow@aclj.org FRANCIS J. MANION* GEOFFREY R. SURTEES** AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 6375 New Hope Road New Hope, Kentucky 40052 Tel.: 502-549-7020 Fax: 502-549-5252 Email: fmanion@aclj.org * Admitted to Fourth Circuit Bar ** Not admitted in this jurisdiction Counsel for amicus curiae 17 CERTIFICATION PURSUANT TO FED. R. APP. P. 29 AND 32 This amicus brief complies with the type-volume limitation of Fed. R. App. P. 29(a)(5) and 32(a)(7) because it contains 4,015 words, excluding the parts of the brief exempted by Fed. R. App. P. 32(f). This brief complies with the typeface requirements of Fed. R. App. P. 32(a)(5) and the type style requirements of Fed. R. App. P. 32(a)(6) because it has been prepared in a proportionally spaced typeface using Microsoft Word in 14-point Times New Roman font. Respectfully submitted, /s/ Edward L. White III EDWARD L. WHITE III* AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 3001 Plymouth Road, Suite 203 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105 Telephone: (734) 680-8007 Facsimile: (734) 680-8006 Email: ewhite@aclj.org * Admitted to Fourth Circuit Bar Counsel for amicus curiae 18 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on March 31, 2017, I caused a true and correct copy of the foregoing to be electronically filed with the Clerk of Court for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit using CM/ECF, which will send notification of such filing to counsel of record. On the same date, I caused three true and correct paper copies of the foregoing to be sent by Federal Express nextbusiness day delivery to the Clerk of Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1100 East Main Street, Suite 501, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3517. Respectfully submitted, /s/ Edward L. White III EDWARD L. WHITE III* AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE 3001 Plymouth Road, Suite 203 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105 Telephone: (734) 680-8007 Facsimile: (734) 680-8006 Email: ewhite@aclj.org * Admitted to Fourth Circuit Bar Counsel for amicus curiae 19

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