Leading a coalition of 16 states, Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the United States Supreme Court to uphold President Trump’s travel ban. Issued last September, the president’s current executive order places temporary restrictions on travel to the U.S. by foreign nationals from eight countries that are terror-prone or have inadequate vetting measures.
“President Trump’s highest obligation is to ensure the safety and security of all Americans, and with his latest travel ban, he is fulfilling that sacred responsibility,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The travel ban is constitutional and vital to upgrading both vetting and national security procedures that will help protect the nation from terrorism. The president is invoking executive powers embodied in the Constitution, authorized by Congress and used 44 times by a bipartisan list of former presidents without a legal challenge.”
Last December, the Supreme Court allowed full implementation of the travel ban while legal challenges against it continued. The justices agreed in January to take up the case this term, likely in April, though a date has not yet been set.
In the friend-of-the-court brief, Attorney General Paxton and the multi-state coalition argue that the travel ban “provides extensive findings supporting the need for a suspension of entry for the nationals of failed states, governments that are state sponsors of terrorism, or governments otherwise unwilling or unable to respond to adequate vetting or other terrorism-related concerns.”
Last year, Attorney General Paxton filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to defend the president’s original executive order on immigration, making Texas the only state at the time to officially support the travel ban. When the Trump administration’s revised travel ban was blocked, 16 states joined Texas in a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of allowing crucial parts of the ban to take effect.
Texas is joined in today’s friend-of-the-court brief by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia, and Governor Paul LePage of Maine and Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi.