As you’ve likely read in the news, on Saturday night, many attorneys joined fellow citizens in opposition of President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven countries from entering, or re-entering, the U.S.
We asked our members who were there to share something about what they saw, what they did, and what they were feeling on Saturday night when the dropped what they were doing (some even went straight from the Boston Bar Foundation’s Adams Benefit, the area’s largest fundraiser for legal aid, to help) and rushed to Logan Airport and to the federal courthouse.
We all rushed to the Moakley Courthouse in Boston, and two federal judges heard our arguments in the middle of the night, in front of a courtroom packed with civil rights advocates and journalists. By the time the hearing ended, just before 2 a.m., we had historic rulings from federal courts in Boston and throughout the nation to block the ban, at least temporarily. Now we are fighting for its full repeal.”
In the midst of it all, Susan and I were coordinating with the ACLU to prepare the paperwork for a lawsuit and to find an available judge. At the same time, we were trying to protect our clients from the media. As we waited, some of our plaintiffs were released. A judge agreed to have a hearing at 9:30 PM in the Federal Courthouse. We raced from the airport to the court, and met Kerry Doyle, the ACLU attorneys, and several other lawyers there. While we waited for the judges to arrive, we went over the briefs and discussed our various arguments. We coordinated with Derege Demissie, Susan’s husband and law partner, who was filing the paperwork from home. He was on the phone with us until well after midnight. The judges did not make a decision until nearly two in the morning.
What I remember the most was the feeling of everyone coming together. In the airport, there were several attorneys assisting Susan and me every step of the way. In the courtroom, the clerks and court staff did everything they could to help us move the case forward in an efficient manner. There were more than six attorneys who joined us in the courtroom for the remainder of the night. When the restraining order was issued, we were thrilled with the result. It was more than we had asked for. It was a true team effort.”
We had a difficult time getting to Terminal E, given the an ongoing protest and extensive police presence. When we arrived, we learned that there would be a hearing in federal court imminently. In the meantime, I got an email from Josh Daniels from Goodwin, who happened to be at the airport (at the protest), so we picked him up and headed over in a cab to the federal court to help the lawyers there in any way we could.
It was certainly a unique Saturday night; the Court issued the order at 1:45 a.m. It has been a whirlwind since, as Mintz Levin is now partnering with the ACLU, the Attorney General’s office and others on this important case, standing up for the rights of these particular individuals and for all individuals, regardless of their nationality, race or religion, whose right to due process has been denied by this overly broad and unlawful action.”
If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at firstname.lastname@example.org.