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AG Derek Schmidt: President has legal authority to suspend entry into the United States

Release Date: Mar 02, 2018

TOPEKA – (March 2, 2018) – The president’s decision to suspend entry of certain categories of aliens into the United States is within his legal authority, Kansas and 15 other states have told the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 16-state coalition this week filed a brief arguing that both the president’s constitutional authority and specific provisions of federal law empower him to implement the restrictions on entry into the country. The states argue that the president and Congress, not the federal courts, are best situated to make national security, foreign affairs and immigration policy judgments in the best interest of the country.

“The States have a significant interest in protecting their residents’ safety,” the coalition wrote. “But the States and their elected officials must generally rely on the federal Executive Branch to restrict or set the terms of aliens’ entry into the States for public-safety and national-security reasons, pursuant to the laws of Congress.”

Last April, a similar group of states, including Kansas, made essentially the same argument to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court disagreed and entered the injunction against the president’s action that now is before the Supreme Court.

“The court below issued yet another injunction of the President’s Proclamation suspending the entry of specified classes of nonresident aliens,” the coalition wrote. “The injunction is contrary to law because it issued despite multiple longstanding doctrines limiting the availability of judicial remedies for disagreement with policy decisions like the Proclamation here.”

The states’ brief notes that Congress has enacted a specific statute expressly delegating to the president broad, discretionary authority to suspend the entry of aliens into the country and asks the Supreme Court to reverse the lower-court decision.

The case is Donald J. Trump, et al. v. State of Hawaii, et al. Oral argument is set for April 25. A copy of the brief is available at


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