Federal judge sides with government on decision not to evacuate 26 Muslims from America who got stuck in war-torn Yemen

memee674b932b57e6e3bThe State Department said at the time: “Americans have been warned for 15 years not to travel to Yemen. It is not our responsibility to get them out now.” The State Department tweeted several advisories for U.S. citizens not to travel there and for Americans in Yemen to depart. (So, if you’re stupid enough to go into a war zone against advice, don’t expect us to come and get you)

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AllGov  These Muslims, some US citizens and some legal residents were warned by the State Department in February 2015 to leave Yemen immediately. They ignored the warnings, and CAIR is demanded that the US send in its military to evacuate them because of the upsurge in violence. 

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Federal courts don’t have the authority to decide whether the government has an obligation to evacuate 26 U.S. Muslim citizens and permanent residents who say they were stranded in war-torn Yemen, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Nora Ali Mobarez, a U.S. citizen living in Yemen, and 25 other citizens and permanent residents sued Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter last April, saying the government ignored them while ordering diplomats and military personnel to flee the civil war-ravaged country.

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While the State Department issued a travel warning for Yemen and acknowledged the possibility of danger to Americans, it did nothing to evacuate U.S. citizens, the group claimed. This, the plaintiffs said, was a violation of the government’s responsibilities under the Administrative Procedure Act(pdf).

But the government challenged the group’s claims, saying it does not have an obligation to evacuate its citizens under the act. The government also argued the decision to evacuate citizens from a country does not fall under the federal judiciary’s authority since it is a nonjusticiable political question.

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U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson granted the government’s motion to dismiss in a March 31 order, but the order became final with the opinion issued Tuesday.

“After considering the parties’ arguments and the applicable law regarding the boundaries of the political-question doctrine, this court is confident that plaintiffs’ claims fit well within the scope of the nonjusticiability principles that the Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit have long articulated,” Brown wrote.

The political-question doctrine holds that courts should not weigh in on policy choices best left to Congress or the Executive Branch, according to the opinion.

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