Late last night, 97 tech companies—including Apple, Facebook, Google, and, Uber filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing against the refugge ban instituted by the Trump administration. In the face of the outcry against Trump’s executive order, such a grand gesture makes for good optics. But legal experts say the brief is about more than Silicon Valley’s public image. In this case, tech’s support could help the plaintiffs prevail against Trump.
“The tech industry has been increasingly active in recent years in cases that involve the civil rights of their customers or, like in this case, their employees,” says Neil Richards, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. “Courts do take the views of industry seriously in these cases, particularly when those views seem broader than merely guarding the bottom line.”