This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A handful of professors from Utah's two law schools have asked permission to file a brief supporting a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for his order banning or limiting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The amicus brief, also known as a "friend of the court" brief, does not address issue of whether Trump can order the immigration restrictions. Instead, the law professors argue in a motion filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, that the state of Washington has standing to sue.
After explaining case law on when states can sue the federal government, the law professors suggest in their proposed brief that the travel ban could harm the University of Washington and Washington State University.
"As an institution and employer, like other institutions in Washington, the state may have lost revenue both because students can no longer enroll ... and because of canceled trips and events of those within the university," the proposed brief says.
In all, 10 law professors from across the country signed the motion, five of them from Utah universities.
The University of Utah scholars are Amy J. Wildermuth, the associate vice president for faculty at the law school and chief sustainability officer; Lincoln L. Davies, the associate dean for academic affairs at the law school, who among other things researches standing issues; Robin Kundis Craig, who researches law and policy on water issues; and Alexander T. Skibine, who teaches administrative, federal and Indian law;
Brigham Young University associate law professor, Lisa Grow Sun, also signed the brief. She teaches constitutional and disaster law.
The law professors wrote that they "maintain a neutral position on the underlying merits of the case ..."
Rather, they wrote, they seek to "offer guidance to the Court to help resolve the issue of state standing consistent with current law."
Lawyers for the state of Washington and the U.S. Department of Justice presented arguments Tuesday at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Court spokesman David Mannen said a decision from a panel of judges is likely to come this week.