Travel Ban Challengers Lose Bid For Rudy Giuliani's Purported 'Muslim Ban' Memo

A federal judge in Detroit agreed Friday to put a halt to court proceedings that sought the release of a legal memorandum believed to have been created by Rudy Giuliani to help justify President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

The former New York City mayor made a splash in late January — a day after an early version of the travel order was signed — when he said on Fox News that the president had asked him before his inauguration to assemble a commission that would look for ways to “legally” institute a travel ban targeting Muslims.

Since then, a number of courts have cited Giuliani’s comments as evidence that the president’s executive orders to institute travel restrictions were fueled by anti-Muslim sentiment, which would violate the Constitution’s establishment clause on religious bias.

The most recent ruling came from the federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, which prevented Trump’s second order, a ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of six Muslim-majority countries, from going into effect and said that the executive order “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”

“Giuliani was quite clear that the President wanted to enact a ‘Muslim ban’ and had assembled a commission to study how to create a ‘Muslim ban’ legally,” wrote one of the 4th Circuit judges who agreed that the travel restrictions, which also included refugees, shouldn’t be reinstated.

Because that ruling is now pending before the Supreme Court and the justices could in time determine the bottom-line legality of the executive order, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts concluded that it wouldn’t make much sense to let the challengers in the Detroit case get ahold of the Giuliani memo.

“Requiring the parties and the Court to devote time and resources to resolve these matters ... would not be economical, because the Supreme Court’s decision will be significantly relevant to, and possibly control, the Court’s consideration of issues raised in this suit,” Roberts wrote in an order putting a freeze on the proceedings.

Roberts had already ordered the Department of Justice to hand over the so-called “Muslim ban” memo last month. But government lawyers resisted her order, citing executive privilege, presidential immunity and other defenses that lawyers for the travel ban challengers characterized as no more than “a laundry list of objections.”

In a nod to the plaintiffs, which include the Arab American Civil Rights League, the judge did agree to revisit her order in the event that the Supreme Court declines to hear the appeal of the 4th Circuit’s ruling.

And she directed the Trump administration to preserve any relevant documents, official or not, predating Trump’s inauguration, which presumably would cover the elusive Giuliani memo. In court filings, government lawyers have declined to say if the memo even exists.

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Mustafa Aidid, right, a Somali national who was delayed entry into the U.S. because of the Jan. 27 travel ban, is reunited with his brother Taha Aidid, left, at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia on Feb. 6, 2017.
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Faisal Etal, center,  a Somali national who was delayed entry to the U.S. over the travel ban, is greeted by his brother Adan Etal at Washington Dulles International Airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
Faisal Etal, center,  a Somali national who was delayed entry to the U.S. over the travel ban, is greeted by his brother Adan Etal at Washington Dulles International Airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
Tareq Aquel Mohammed Aziz, left, hugs his father, Aquel, as his brother Ammar, second right, embraces his uncle Jamil Assa after the brothers arrived from Yemen at Dulles International airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
Tareq Aquel Mohammed Aziz, left, hugs his father, Aquel, as his brother Ammar, second right, embraces his uncle Jamil Assa after the brothers arrived from Yemen at Dulles International airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
Iranian engineer Nazanin Zinouri, with her dog Dexter, gets a hug from Emma Porter after arriving at the Greenville Spartanburg Airport Feb. 6, 2017 in Greenville, South Carolina. Zinouri, a Clemson graduate, works for a technology firm in Greenville and has lived in the United States for the past seven years. While attempting to return to South Carolina after a recent trip visiting family in Iran, she had been taken off her flight in Dubai as a result of Trump's travel and immigration order.
Iranian engineer Nazanin Zinouri, with her dog Dexter, gets a hug from Emma Porter after arriving at the Greenville Spartanburg Airport Feb. 6, 2017 in Greenville, South Carolina. Zinouri, a Clemson graduate, works for a technology firm in Greenville and has lived in the United States for the past seven years. While attempting to return to South Carolina after a recent trip visiting family in Iran, she had been taken off her flight in Dubai as a result of Trump's travel and immigration order.
Roodo Abdishakur, left, a Somali national who was delayed entry to the U.S. because of the recent ban, is greeted by her mother, Zahra Warsma, at Washington Dulles International Airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
Roodo Abdishakur, left, a Somali national who was delayed entry to the U.S. because of the recent ban, is greeted by her mother, Zahra Warsma, at Washington Dulles International Airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
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Eman Ali of Yemen, 12, cries with her sister Salma Ali after they meet for the first time in years at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, Feb. 5, 2017. The 12-year-old and her father were blocked entry into the United States because of the order. 
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Dr. Muhamad Alhaj Moustafa and his wife Nabil Alhaffar, both Syrian citizens, meet after she returned from a trip to Doha, Qatar. She was denied re-entry in January at the international arrivals hall at Washington Dulles International Airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
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Ali Alghazali, 13, a Yemeni who was previously prevented from boarding a plane to the U.S., hugs his uncle Saleh Alghazali, upon Ali's arrival at Terminal 4 at JFK airport in Queens on Feb. 5, 2017, following the reprieve from the ban.
Ali Alghazali, 13, a Yemeni who was previously prevented from boarding a plane to the U.S., hugs his uncle Saleh Alghazali, upon Ali's arrival at Terminal 4 at JFK airport in Queens on Feb. 5, 2017, following the reprieve from the ban.
A woman traveling on a flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, wipes away a tear after greeting a relative at Dulles International Airport on Feb. 6, 2017.
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Loved ones are reunited as a flight from Doha arrives at the international arrivals hall at Washington Dulles International Airport on Feb. 6, 2017. 

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