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Press Release: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Unconstitutional Ruling in MESA Lawsuit against Trump Travel Ban

[The following press release was issued by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) on 25 May 2017]

For Immediate Release

May 25, 2017

Geoffrey Knox

Federal Appeals Court Rules Trump Muslim Ban Unconstitutional

RICHMOND, VA. — In a 10-3 ruling, a federal appeals court today ruled President Trump’s revised Muslim ban executive order is unconstitutional. The full Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case earlier this month.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, and National Immigration Law Center brought the challenge on behalf of HIAS, the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Middle East Studies Association, and individuals affected by the ban.

Beth Baron, President of the Middle East Studies Association, had this reaction:

“The court today reaffirmed what MESA and our partners in this lawsuit have been saying from the beginning: President Trump’s Muslim ban violates the U.S. Constitution. We are thrilled that the court upheld the Constitution’s prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion for that principal is a fundamental protection for all of us—including MESA members. The Fourth Circuit reminded everyone that no one — not even the president — is above the Constitution. 

Today’s decision will allow MESA to move forward more freely in advancing our mission as a scholarly association—to facilitate the free exchange of ideas. The order has already harmed our student and faculty members by preventing travel and disrupting research. We hope today’s legal victory will mitigate this disruption.

MESA will continue to participate in legal action to keep the freeze on the Muslim ban for as long as it takes. Courts have rejected this ban as unconstitutional time and time again. It’s time for the Trump administration to abandon this discriminatory policy.  If they don’t, we will continue to vigorously defend this victory.” 

The ruling can be found at the ACLU site at

More information is also at:

More on MESA

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a private, non-profit learned society that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction, and defend academic freedom.


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