The Supreme Court on Monday gave the Trump administration a win on their controversial “travel ban.” The high court granted the government’s request to reinstate part of the travel ban meant to temporarily block people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
The Supreme Court also agreed to hear the government’s appeal of lower court’s attempt to prevent the ban from taking place. These decisions are a victory for the president, who has fought the battle to implement his executive orders for months. The travelers that will be affecting would come from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The justices will hear the case when it returns for the Fall term which will begin the first Monday in October.
The actual results of Monday’s decision are that people who do not have a relationship with an individual or entity in the United States would be barred from entry. This will take place within 72 hours of when the order goes into effect. Those who can show that they have a bonafide relationship to a person or entity will be allowed to enter the country, which is somewhat of a victory particularly for those who filed the lower court claims.
The White House did not wait long to respond, and the President released a statement:
Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security. It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective.
As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.
My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe. Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation’s homeland. I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.
The court explained its decision saying that denying entry to a person that does not have a relationship with an individual or entity in the U.S. “does not burden any American party because of that party’s relationship with the foreign national. And the courts below did not conclude that exclusion in such circumstances would impose any legally relevant hardship for the foreign national himself.”
The high court also cited past precedent saying that the interest in preserving national security is “an urgent objective of the highest order. To prevent the government from pursuing that objective by enforcing [the ban] against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else,” the court said.
Three Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, along with the newest Justice, Neil Gorsuch, wanted to lift the complete ban. At least five votes were needed to reinstate the ban in part, and at least four votes were needed to hear the government’s appeal.
Some were surprised by the decision because the high court is typically reluctant to step in unless the lower courts have been divided on an issue. In this case, both the 4th and 9th Circuit courts were in complete agreement to block the ban.
The 4th Circuit maintained that Trump’s order discriminated against Muslims and was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from establishing a religion. The 9th Circuit based its decision on immigration law. They said that Trump’s order failed to provide the required justification under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Supreme Court stated, “But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.” Regarding the 9th Circuit’s ruling, the high court said that their decision, “threatens to hamstring the Executive in safeguarding the nation’s border.”
This is a major decision that will have both passionate proponents and opponents. What side are you on?
Credit: The Hill