American Academy of Religion v. Chertoff

463 F. Supp. 2d 400 (2006)

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American Academy of Religion v. Chertoff

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
463 F. Supp. 2d 400 (2006)

Facts

Tariq Ramadan (plaintiff) was an internationally renowned scholar of Islam and Muslim identity. Ramadan advocated for a middle ground between isolationism and assimilation for Muslims living in non-Muslim countries, was critical of both Islamic extremism and Western military intervention in the Middle East, and was involved in efforts to combat extremism. When Ramadan was offered a position at an American university, he applied for an H-1B visa. Although the visa was initially approved, Ramadan was later informed that it had been revoked. A government spokesman informed a newspaper that the visa had been revoked under a federal law that refused entry to aliens who espoused terrorist activity, although the government later denied that any decision had been reached on the visa. Ramadan then applied for a nonimmigration visa, but the government failed to render any decision on that application for months. A group of American scholarly organizations (plaintiffs) joined Ramadan in suing the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State (defendants), alleging among other claims that the government’s exclusion of Ramadan was based on his political views and therefore violated their First Amendment rights. The organizations sought a preliminary injunction so that Ramadan could enter the United States.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Crotty, J.)

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