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Hawai‘i Files Supreme Court Brief on Merits in Travel Ban Case

September 11, 2017, 2:49 PM HST
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Today, Hawai‘i filed its brief on the merits before the U.S. Supreme Court in Hawai‘i v. Trump. The Trump administration filed its opening Supreme Court brief on the merits on Aug. 10, 2017.

Hawai‘i’s brief states in part:

On March 6, 2017, the president issued an executive order that exceeds his authority under the immigration laws and transgresses the boundaries of the Establishment Clause. In defending that order, the president claims authority “parallel to Congress’s” to make “federal law” with respect to immigration, insists that the courts owe him complete “deference [as] the Executive,” and declares his decisions wholly “immune from judicial control.”

That breathtaking assertion of presidential power is irreconcilable with our constitutional framework. Our Framers crafted a Constitution predicated on the understanding that the “accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, * * * may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” The Federalist No. 47, p. 324 (James Madison) (Jacob Cooke ed., 1961). In issuing Executive Order No. 13,780 and then defending it in the courts, the President has named himself legislator, executive, and judge. The result is precisely the encroachment on individual liberties the Framers feared: The Order has sown chaos in our immigration system, separated our families, and infringed on the sovereignty of our States. It has also impeded the operations of our universities, our charities, and the tourism industry on which so many livelihoods depend.

In short, “this wolf comes as a wolf.” Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654, 699 (1988) (Scalia, J., dissenting). It falls to this Court to reestablish our constitutional separation of powers, and to reassert the bulwarks that protect our most sacred liberties.

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Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court will occur on Oct. 10, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

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A copy of Hawaii’s Supreme Court brief on the merits can be downloaded here.

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