Tariq Ramadan: Scholar's Visa Denial Upheld

Historians in the News

The case of Tariq Ramadan has become central to efforts by academic and civil liberties groups to challenge the denial of U.S. visas to foreign scholars. And on Thursday, a federal judge handed those groups a defeat by upholding the right of the government to deny a visa to Ramadan, a prominent Muslim scholar who has been unable to enter the United States to accept a position at the University of Notre Dame.

In a 32-page decision, Judge Paul A. Crotty notes that numerous court rulings give the government considerable leeway in deciding whom to admit to the United States, and make it extremely difficult to challenge those decisions in court. Once the government shows a “facially legitimate” reason to deny a visa, the case is over, Crotty writes, and that’s how he views the Ramadan suit.

“Once the consular official has made this decision,” writes the judge, “it is not the court’s role ... to second guess the result.”

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