OK – many of you have been wondering about the lawsuits and I have a little news.
There is a lot of work being done on various legal cases, as well as political moves. It’s all quite complex, and honestly it will take time to play out. We need to remain patient to allow time for things to work through the system. Obviously the downside is that we don’t have much time remaining. So – forgetting political moves for the moment, let’s focus on the lawsuits.
There are three main lawsuits challenging various aspects of the ban, or seeking relief in various ways.
The first two are The AILA lawsuit (referred to as the Gomez v Trump case), the Kuck/Siskind case (Aker v Trump). Both of these are class action cases that look to block the ban on behalf of classes. So – if either of these cases are won, there will be wide ranging benefits even for people not named on the lawsuits.
Then there is the lawsuits by Curtis Morrison. He has actually started several suits with different named plaintiffs. These suits only seek benefit for those named in the suit.
All the above cases have been transferred to a single judge – Judge Mehta. This transferring of cases has caused an unfortunate delay. Lawyers have filed TRO motions in both the class action cases, the TRO seeks to block the ban temporarily while the court hearings proceed. As I have explained before, this in itself will be a relief, because it would allow some cases to be processed while the court process continues. However, it is increasingly unlikely that the TRO would provide relief in time for all cases. The most likely outcome would be that cases previously issued visas and cases that have cleared AP would be able to be resolved, along with cases previously scheduled at the embassies (where interviews were cancelled). There is very little time left to get new cases scheduled, even for those that received the “ready for scheduling” emails.
The judge has now set a hearing for this Friday. The hearing is public and you can listen in if you wish (only for people inside the USA), but I will of course summarize it after the call. The number, if you want to listen in is – 1(877) 848-7030, access code 321-8747. The time will be 10am Eastern time zone.
This is the same judge that heard the earlier case filed by Jim Hacking against the April version of the ban. The judge decided (correctly, in my opinion) that the plaintiffs failed to show actual harm being done by the ban, because the original version was arguable just a delay. However the latest ban clearly caused irreparable harm to various classes so I am hopeful that Judge Mehta will take a different view this time.
Judge Mehta (an Obama appointed judge) has a good track record and is not afraid of issuing TROs etc against the government where needed.
Note: Just a quick clarification. Curtis Morrison kindly reached out to me to clarify that the AILA is not “certified” as a class action suit yet (although that has been requested). And the Aker case is not technically a class action suit BUT could win outcomes that would benefit DV cases not named on the suit.