Story/Video by Ford Fischer
Photos by Alejandro Alvarez

As the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in Hawaii v. Trump to decide whether one of President Trump’s latest “Muslim Ban” policies violates federal law, activists outside condemned the travel ban as unconstitutional and unhelpful to national security.

The ban prevents nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the policy discriminates against a particular religious group and whether President Trump has the constitutional authority to impose it.

“We have a toddler in the White House. A preschooler who thinks the constitution is a toy to be played with and thrown away when he is bored by its protections,” said Nihad Awad, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Set up around the podium were six giant passport posters, each marked “rejected” to symbolize the countries affected by the ban. Included in the latest iteration of the ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Chad, Syria, and Yemen, as well as North Korea and Venezuela. Iraq and Sudan were listed on previous versions but have since been dropped following security assurances. Although the executive order does not mentioned Islam by name, most of the nations impacted are majority Muslim.


“It is a false choice to say that somehow our national security depends on banning Muslims,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “That is just playing to the racism and the Islamaphobia that is already out there.”

Isra Chaker, refugee campaign manager for Oxfam, said that “The Muslim ban has torn families apart and shot at their ability to be reunited. It is cruel, and it is heartless.”

“We need to stop repeating history,” added David Inoue, Executive Director of Japanese American Citizen League.

“I believe all Americans have a responsibility to challenge it on constitutional grounds, on moral grounds, on ethical grounds,” said Zainab Chaudry, an American Muslim civil rights and political activist. “It’s just devastating to see our country heading in this direction.”