Akin Gump Provides Pro Bono Support to Korematsu Center in Legal Challenges to the Trump Administration’s March 6 Executive Order

(New York) – Akin Gump is serving as pro bono counsel to the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality on amicus briefs filed before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in State of Hawai`i and Ismail Elshikh v. Trump and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump. The briefs support a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s Executive Order 13780 (March 6, 2017), titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which replaces Executive Order 13769 (January 27, 2017), of the same title. Numerous nonprofit advocacy groups, including civil rights groups and national bar associations of color, joined the briefs, along with the children of litigants in the Japanese relocation and incarceration cases from World War II. Oral arguments are scheduled for Monday, May 8 in the 4th Circuit and Monday, May 15 in the 9th Circuit.

In the briefs, the Korematsu Center and joining amici assert that courts can and should review executive branch action on immigration and not defer to the claimed “plenary power” of the executive branch. The plaintiffs argue that the executive order violates the First and Fifth Amendments, the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Akin Gump’s Pratik Shah, who co-heads the firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice, stated, “We are hopeful that both courts of appeals will uphold the decisions of the district courts and deny the government’s attempts to undo the injunctions.”

Corporate partner Alice Hsu led the Akin Gump team on behalf of the amici. She was joined by litigation partners Pratik Shah and Robert Johnson, and litigation senior counsel Jessica Weisel. Additional team members included litigation associates Elizabeth Rosen and Daniella Roseman; litigation counsel Martine Cicconi* and litigation law clerk Nathaniel Botwinick.

To read the 4th Circuit brief in full, please click here. For the 9th Circuit brief, click here.

* Licensed to practice in California only and under the direct supervision of a partner of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP who is an enrolled, active member of the District of Columbia Bar; applicant for admission to the D.C. Bar

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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