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More Than 150 Former Federal Prosecutors Just Denounced Trump’s ‘Unconstitutional Overreach’

Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees worldwide from entering the United States has been broadly rejected by the judiciary, with over a dozen federal court orders restricting or staying the travel ban. Now, more than 150 former federal prosecutors have voiced their concerns about Trump’s “unconstitutional overreach” as well.

On Monday, 54 former prosecutors from California signed a blistering letter denouncing the executive order as “a thinly veiled attempt to exclude Muslims from certain countries based on their religion.”

Two similar letters have been signed by former AUSAs in New York and Florida. The New York letter has 65 signatories and the Florida letter has 36, according to The Intercept

The three letters reflect a strong current of mainstream opinion within the legal profession that is in vocal opposition to Trump’s “unconstitutional” travel ban.

letter-prosecutorsAlso on Monday, the American Bar Association warned that parts of the executive order “jeopardize fundamental principles of justice, due process, and the rule of law.”

“We must avoid sweeping bans based on religion or national origin,” ABA’ president Linda Klein said and called for a judiciary “independent from the president of the United States.” She applauded the ABA for launching a website to coordinate legal defense for immigrants affected by the travel ban.

Klein also responded directly to Trump’s tweet attacking Judge James Robart, whose temporary restraining order suspended the ban. “There are no ‘so-called judges’ in America,” she said. “There are simply judges — fair and impartial.”

Last week, the San Francisco Bar Association also lambasted the travel ban, calling it “cruel and intolerable, and likely unlawful.”

The AUSA letters argue that Trump’s executive order permits the president to give an unconstitutional “religious preference” to Christians over Muslims in admissions into the country.

“We entered into agreements with other countries to allow people into the U.S. Without any notification whatsoever, those agreements were revoked,” New York former federal prosecutor Patricia Pileggi said.

“The order initially prevented people from returning to schools, to jobs, prevented scientists from returning to the U.S. to do very valuable research,” she added.

The Trump administration has filed a motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that it was within its authority to issue the ban. The court will hear oral arguments on the suit on Tuesday.


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