162 Tech Companies Tell Appeals Court That Trump's 2nd Travel Ban Is Illegal
from the speaking-up dept
As you'll recall, back in early February, over 100 tech companies signed onto an amicus brief, arguing that President Trump's initial plan to bar immigration from certain countries was unconstitutional and illegal. A month later, a smaller group of companies signed onto an amicus brief in the district court in Hawaii concerning the revised travel ban (and a few people noted that some of the companies that signed onto the first brief had not signed onto the second one -- wondering if that meant many companies weren't as worried about the revised ban. Except, yesterday an even larger group of tech companies (162 in total) signed onto a new amicus brief for the 4th Circuit court of appeals which is the next appeals court hearing a case on the revised travel ban. And, yes, we at the Copia Institute signed onto this one as well (we also signed onto the first two).
It seems likely that some companies just sat out the Hawaii case because it's in a district court, and amicus briefs aren't always as welcome in district courts, and some lawyers view them as wasteful at that stage. Amicus briefs tend to really only matter in appeals courts (or, of course, the Supreme Court). You can read the full brief here (or below), as it makes the case that even the revised ban doesn't solve the problems of the original ban. It's worth reading carefully. It's good to see all of these companies continue to stand up for what's right, especially when it would be easy to sit back, do nothing, and play nice with the new administration.
And, because I know that some people will insist that the only reason that tech companies have signed onto this is because it gets them cheap labor or some other such criticisms, I can assure you that in many cases, the participation in these amicus briefs is being driven by the employees at these companies, demanding that management stand up and speak out, rather than a top down decision. Many people feel strongly -- as I do -- that being a country that is welcoming to immigrants is an important part of being American. No one's arguing that there shouldn't be background checks and "vetting" and the like -- but the executive order goes way beyond that.