MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury is one of 31 institutions participating as an amicus curiae in a Supreme Court case challenging the Trump administration’s travel ban for nationals of several majority-Muslim countries initiated last year. The brief, filed with the Supreme Court on Friday, March 30, allows the higher education institutions, as “friends of the court,” the opportunity to advise the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider. Numerous briefs have been filed in the case, including a separate brief by the American Council on Education and other higher education associations, and others by leading civil rights organizations.
The 53-page brief makes the argument that international students and scholars are essential to the missions of many American higher education institutions. It asserts that Proclamation 9645—the president’s travel ban—impairs colleges’ “ability to attract talented individuals from around the globe and thus to meet their goals of educating tomorrow’s leaders.”
The brief states that colleges and universities:
“…have long recognized the importance of attracting international students, faculty, staff, and scholars. International scholars and faculty share important insights about the conditions, traditions, and cultural values and practices of their home nations. Their work leads to critical advancements across all disciplines, from science and technology to arts and letters, often through cross-border collaborations that enhance teaching and research. International students study here and return home as leaders in business, medicine, politics, and other fields. The benefits of international diversity in American higher education thus inure not only to colleges and universities themselves, but to the country and indeed the world.”
Each of the 31 schools offers a short statement of its educational purpose in the final appendix. The case, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, et al. v. State of Hawaii et al., is scheduled for oral arguments on April 25, 2018. A ruling is expected this summer.